How do we repay the sacrifice of those that gave their all for us?
It is a big question as we approach the Memorial Day holiday. For many who have had church memorials and homecomings this spring, it is a question asked regarding family and friends, but this weekend is an opportunity to honor those who have died fighting for our freedom in the United States.
Bob Graves of Winona remembers the summer of 1967, while the War In Vietnam raged. He was stationed in Fort Benning, Ga. and was asked to volunteers for the third Army Honor Guard.
After a few weeks of training, Graves was ready for his first assignment: a military funeral at a small country church near Waycross, Ga. Graves said the funeral detail consisted of 16 mean who boarded a passenger van and entertained themselves on the trip of just a couple of hours by playing cards, listening to the radio, or talking and laughing. Continue reading
So how do we even begin to repay the sacrifice of those that gave their all for us this Memorial Day and all the days to come? A few tips from Veteran Bob Graves of Winona, Miss.:
1. We should never forget them. “We should embrace their families, friends and loved ones for those left behind have sacrificed as well,” Graves said.
2. We should be good citizens. “We must vote and be involved in government at all levels,” Graves said. “The freedoms we enjoy must be guarded from a too powerful government and from a too powerful bureaucracy.”
3. Support the military. “We must support those that serve in our military defending our way of life,” Graves said. “Today, a grave threat to our freedoms exists in the form of terrorism. We cannot be a free people if we must live in constant fear of a terrorist act.”
4. Tell the stories of military heroes. “We must tell the stories of those that we honor today to our children and our grandchildren,” Graves said. “We cannot let our young believe that Memorial Day is ‘National Bar-b-que Day’. Those that come after us must know that their freedom came at a price, that others gave their all for them.”
5. Hug and pray. “This Memorial Day, hug a family member or friend of one of the people named on the monument out in front of the courthouse, hug a veteran, say a prayer of thanks for them, a prayer of thanks for our liberty, and pray that God continues to bless America,” Graves said.
I have had a lot of great Memorial Day celebrations over the years. As a newspaper reporter, you have the opportunity to cover many celebrations and “work” on days that everyone else has as a holiday. While it may have been annoying, those days taught me so much.
One Memorial Day, I spent covering funeral of U.S. soldier from Webster County. I had covered military funerals in the past but this one was so impactful because it was held on Memorial Day. That day was so special to me, even though I did not know the family. It showed me the true meaning of Memorial Day. Continue reading
Since First Baptist Church of Eupora doesn’t have a “memorial” or “Homecoming” services, we are “Remembering their Sacrifice — Honoring their Service” on Memorial Day weekend. We have placed flags along the wall in the hall along with photos of servicemen who are no longer with us. Not all of them died during combat, but all served their country and today we remember them. Some of them attended this church, while others were loved by current members of FBC Eupora. On this Memorial Day, we remember Dubb Barnett, W.H. Bland, “Inkspot” Brown, John Oliver Cooper, Justin Cooper, Earl Pryor Doolittle, James C. Herrod, Jerry Elkins, Ralph Hodges, “Snook” Johnson, Lansing Lamb, Willis Morgan, Ed Morrow, Welty Oliver, William Rogers, Edwin Ross, Bill Seaborn, Russell Shaw, Edmond Shumpert, Upton Sparkman,Glen Sturdivant, Jack Turner, John Walker, O.L. Waits and W.O. Wilson.