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By Jesse Utz 

Honoring our heros

Jess Shut Up


Every once in a while someone from the community approaches me with an idea for this column. I usually write down the idea and add it to my topic list. Other times their idea spurs something in me to write about something similar. But recently a community member got ahold of me, and I am truly inspired by what he told me. I am honored to write this column right after Memorial Day and think it is truly appropriate right now. As a side note, some of these ideas and thoughts belong to the community member, but I am right on board with him.

As Memorial Day passed we all thought of those veterans that had gone before us. We read their names on flags, tombstones and in the paper. We cleaned graves, we watched television programs and walked an Isle of Flags. We remembered World Wars, Vietnam, Korea and other conflicts. We thought of grandparents, uncles, aunts and parents. We truly remembered and we honored those who gave to their country. But do we ever think of those that are currently in harm’s way for our freedom.

Have you ever watched the old television show “The Waltons”? Well, they had a general store in the show, and if you look closely, they had a special wall in the store dedicated to the local heroes who were currently serving in the war. Yes, it is a television show, but during the research for this I found that that was commonplace back in the day. A lot of communities had a spot during World War I and World War II for the local men and women who were serving; their picture was hung on the wall somewhere, and people knew that this person was currently fighting for their freedom. Some places, when that hero was reported killed in action, the photo was moved to a different wall that said, “Died for my freedom.”

Later, ribbons became common; you can still see some today. When someone in your family went to war, a yellow ribbon was tied somewhere outside the home until that person returned home. Sadly some of those ribbons never came down till after the funeral. Some hung for many years after. Just too hard to take down.

So here we are today, with men and women serving in conflicts all over the world. People from our very towns putting their lives on the line, not just for my freedom but for people in other countries. We consistently see on the news that these brave heroes are still dying for their country. Blood, sweat and tears spilled in a foreign land. Training on all aspects of battle still learned and honed and honored. You see, we are still losing the heroes, the difference is that we are not noticing like our country once did. Politics aside, we still need to honor those serving, and I think in a big way.

There are many walls of businesses out there that are bare or could be turned into a living monument to our heroes. I say let’s do it. I would be willing to be on a committee that researches and gathers the information of current military members serving our country. We will need a business out there to donate the wall space. We can do this. Not only for our current heroes but for those who marched before them. We need to honor them today. Contact The Star newspaper if you are willing to help or have any other ideas on this subject. Thank you to Rodney Bise for bringing this to me.

If we can come together and show support for this kind of memorial we not only honor all Veterans but we honor our own freedom and the lives lost for it. God Bless America.

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