Honor those who served, in years past and today, too

November 09, 2004

Elsewhere on this page is a letter from Paul Wolber, a Hagerstown man well-known for his service in a variety of civic causes. Wolber is announcing the dedication of a World War II memorial this Thursday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. at the old Fort Ritchie Army base.

For many, this will be a work day, so we hope that Wolber and the many others who've put this together don't see such absences as a lack of respect for the Washington County residents who served during World War II.

But even if you can't attend, we would urge that on that day, and every other day for that matter, citizens remember what veterans have done.

From the citizen soldiers of the American Revolution, who risked being labeled traitors and executed had the British won, to the Marines now storming Fallujah, there is a record that citizens can look on with pride.


It shows that when the call came, U.S. soldiers answered, served honorably and went home. They were usually quiet about their service, not bragging or boasting, because they have seen war up close and did not want anyone to believe it was anything but a horrible experience.

The results of the last national election are still being analyzed and mulled over. The "what ifs" will be debated for years to come. As much as we hope for a unified country, it will not be accomplished easily or quickly.

But the one thing all citizens should be able to unite on is a determination to see that the men and women of America's armed forces, past and present, get all that they are due in terms or honor, respect and support.

For past veterans, that means making sure the Veterans Administration takes care of their medical needs, particularly if what ails them is an old service-related injury.

For those in the service now, Americans must demand that they have the best weapons, protective clothing and vehicles available.

Those soldiers should also know that whatever citizens feel about the war in Iraq, the folks back home don't hold members of the armed forces responsible for political decisions.

If you'd like to say that in more a personal way, the South Washington County Military Support group is collecting holiday cards for the troops.

Send cards, in unsealed envelopes, to: South Washington County Military Support Group, c/o Lynn Jones, P.O. Box 223, Keedysville, MD 21756.

Arrangement for pickup of cards may be made by calling Jones at 301-432-4979.

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