Memorial Day: Honoring America’s fallen heroes

Published 7:21 pm Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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The hum of highway traffic provided the background for the reading of the names of those who lost their lives in service to their country – to our country.

“Our lives go on but for their sacrifices,” said Randy Ross, Pike County Veterans Affairs officer.

Those who gathered at Troy’s Bicentennial Park on Memorial Day 2024 were there to honor those whose lives were lost in defense of freedom.

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American Legion Post 70 held the Memorial Day service Monday as a time and way to remember the sacrifices of those who defended freedom in distant places.

Bob McLendon, Post 70 Commander, said there is no greater sacrifice than to give one’s life in defense of freedom.

Troy Mayor Jason A. Reeves expressed deep appreciation to the Gold Star Families for the loss of their loved ones and for the sacrifices that were made at such as high costs. Reeves also expressed appreciation to those who continue to put their lives in harm’s way in defense of freedom.

“We must always respect the debt that was paid for us,” Reeves said.

“And we must never forget those they left behind,” McLendon said. “On Memorial Day, we honor those who died defending freedom and the American way of life.  Today, we will honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice by reading and calling their names aloud.”

As the name of each of those who died in some distant land was called, heads were bowed “as is should be.”

“Although the names of those, who died in some distant land, were not familiar to many, what they did will not be forgotten,” McLendon said. “It is right that we, as Americans, should also pause on Memorial Day to honor those who returned home from our country’s wars but later died as a result of chemical agent poisoning, post-traumatic stress disorder or other combat- related causes.

“They left the war but the war never left them.”

In remembrance of those patriots, a marker was erected by Pike County Post 70 American Legion.

Through it all, they gave their all.

• War in Iraq. Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF; March 2003 – November 2011) …

• War in Afghanistan. Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF; October, 2001 – December, 2014) …

• Persian Gulf War (1991) …

• Vietnam War (1962 – 1973) …

• Korean War (1950 – 1953) …

• World War II (1941 – 1945) …

• World War I (1917 – 1918)