A time to revive patriotism

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Vietnam. Iraq. Afghanistan. Italy. France. Japan. The Pacific Ocean. Korea.

1918. 1942. 1968. 1991. 2004. Today.

Bravery. Dedication. Giving it all -- literally.

America's heroes. Bedford County's heroes.

Are they remembered? Do you remember?

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Almost all of us celebrate Memorial Day in ways ranging from hoisting a cold one to sizzling under the sun.

And that's fine, but don't forget at any moment that American soldiers had to die for us to enjoy Memorial Day -- and the freedom of every other day.

The Field of Heroes Ceremony will be held starting at 1:30 p.m. Memorial Day at Willow Mount Cemetery. It deserves large attendance.

Keep in mind that the ceremony itself functions to keep alive the memory -- and dedication -- of those who defended us to their deaths.

Thursday's T-G listed 128 men from Bedford County who lost their lives just in the 20th and 21st centuries alone, between World War I and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Most of the last names are familiar. Their relatives populate Bedford County today.

That number doesn't include those who died in earlier conflicts, such as the Civil War; Memorial Day was founded in 1868. as a way to reunite a divided nation.

None of these soldiers, from any era, should be forgotten.

"Bedford County's really never done anything" to honor fallen soldiers, Field of Heroes organizer Gene Williams said.

It's likely ceremonies were held many years ago, when patriotism was more prevalent and, especially, in the years following World Wars I and II.

But those observances fell by the wayside in more recent years of peacetime.

It's time to revive America's love of country and reverence for those who served. And those who serve, those willing to give their lives for us today if necessary.

Memorial Day is a fitting time to begin.