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Attend a local memorial service

May 25, 2012
The Herald-Star

Many battles have been fought on and off American soil since the country's birth.

Those battles have meant the ultimate sacrifice from men and women who were unafraid to give themselves for their country, and that includes present-day soldiers who take on enemies with extreme courage.

Today we must never forget the war on terror on the streets and in the countryside in Iraq and Afghanistan has been and continues to be fought with extreme sacrifice by men and women and their families.

We must also not forget that many gave their lives protecting the safety of the United States of America, so that we may never have to live through such a horrible day as that sunny September Tuesday more than a decade ago.

To help us remember, area communities and veterans organizations continue the longstanding American tradition of holding memorial services this weekend, to mark Memorial Day.

"In Flanders Fields" will be read at those ceremonies, and its words echo from World War I especially to us as Americans this year. The poem, by Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae, was written May 3, 1915, after the soldier saw a friend die on the field of battle the day before.

It summarizes the feelings of the soldier who died, of all soldiers who died. It exhorts the living to take up the quarrel with the foe and keep the faith with those who died in battle.

"To you from failing hands, we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high."

Attend a local memorial service, and listen intently to the words of the soldiers and leaders who speak. The words should touch the very American part of your soul, and push you to continue to keep the honor and memory of these brave men and women in your hearts, your thoughts and prayers, and never to give up the cause, which would leave their deaths as mere battlefield statistics.

Say thank you to the living veterans for their service, to active service personnel for continuing the fight, and thus hold the fallen's torch high.

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