VeteransHonor their sacrifices

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, November 10, 2012

More than 200 names adorn the Vicksburg Warren County War Memorial at Municipal Rose Garden at South and Monroe streets, each name a reminder of the sacrifices paid by members of the United States Armed Forces in World War I and II, Korea and Vietnam.

On the memorial reads the following:

“Lest We Forget”

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“Here are recorded the names of Mississippians from Warren County who gave their lives in order that we, trusting in God, shall not fear the power of any adversaries. Grant unto them, O Lord, eternal rest. Let us here highly resolve that the cause for which they died shall forever live.”

Each November on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we honor those sacrifices in memory of Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918 — the end of World War I. In America, it is Veterans Day and every current and former member of our armed service is worthy of our respect and admiration. Those who returned to pageantry following the victorious march over the Axis powers — Italy, Germany and Japan — in World War II to those returning to insults and worse following Vietnam are all worthy of being honored.

Veterans Day does not bring with it the pomp and pageantry of other federal holidays, but the significance of our veterans’ efforts deserves to be honored. In Vicksburg, activities will span two days.

The Annual Memorial Service at that memorial at the Municipal Rose Garden on Monroe Street will be today at 11 a.m. The ceremony will include the presentation of the colors and the reciting of “In Flanders Field,” a poetic tribute to men and women who died in the line of duty in World War I.

Activities Monday will begin at 10 a.m. with the annual Veterans Day parade and Freedom Walk along Washington Street. Retired Brig. Gen. Robert Crear will be the keynote speaker for the Liberty Lunch at noon at the Vicksburg Convention Center. The event is free to veterans, but seats are limited. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, military displays will be available to view inside the convention center.

While attending an event, find a veteran of any conflict and give a thank you. Such a small gesture goes a long way.

Spend some time today and Monday in thought. Focus on the blessings you have and the men and women who walked into harm’s way in defense of those blessings.

Remember those who never came home. Remember those 208 names —fathers and sons, brothers and friends — who never saw the results of their gallant efforts.

Though many times we appear to be a divided nation politically, we all find rest under the flag of freedom so many fought to protect. Honor them.