Tri-City Ledger -

By Charles Jackson
Guest Writer 

America must remember those lost


June 25, 2020

Our 2020 public observance of Memorial Day in Escambia County Alabama was once again held on the courthouse grounds in front of the monuments bearing the names of the 175 Escambia County heroes who died during World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Both the young and aging participants in this local observance anxiously await the placement of a monument to the Americans who lost their lives during the September 11, 2010 (911) attack, and our local heroes who have died during combat operations conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan related to the Global War on Terrorism.

Here’s the Good News: This year’s attendance numbers actually registered a slight increase, hopefully breaking the downward trend that we have seen in recent years. This needs to continue - and here’s why. Most of these faithful participants either have a family member whose name appears on one of our four Veteran Monuments, or they may have personally known some of these local heroes. That’s significant because it brings their heroes back to life – even if it’s only for one day each year!

Regretfully, many of these participants are reaching the age they can no longer attend, and far too many of these faithful individuals are no longer with us. This group of individuals represent the “Greatest Generation of Americans” who have ever lived, and we should never forget any of them – especially our war heroes. We cannot live forever – but their memories can! We must educate the generations which follow - sharing with them the untold stories of their nation’s heroes!

One of the easiest ways to remedy the spiraling decline in our local Memorial Day participation is to better publicize the event. I was pleased once again to see Tri-City Ledger Newspaper Editor Joe Thomas canvasing the crowd, taking photos to memorialize the event, and actually talking to the family members who stepped forward to stand behind one of the four war memorials - as their family names were called out.

I’m certain Joe Thomas has enjoyed hearing personal stories from some of these patriotic family members. I’ve listened before and after the public ceremony to their personal stories, and I’ve never heard one that I didn’t want to repeat. Hearing recounts from these family memories gives me valuable insight into their lives, and even some untold memories about the 175 Veterans - whose names I am privileged to publicly sound-out each year. Their memories will never be forgotten if we pass them on.

Some of the patriotic families that I have been commenting on in this letter, have already provided obituaries of their personal heroes to the Tri-City Ledger following the 2019 Memorial Day event; and I proudly held up several pages from that June 2019 publication, encouraging every attendee to try and provide their family member or friend’s obituary information for next year’s publication.

I have challenged the Tri-City Ledger Newspaper to publish a special newspaper keepsake before next year’s Memorial Day event, that will be appropriate for distribution at the ceremony; and will truly memorialize as many of the Fallen Heroes that our families provide them the obituary information. Please Join us in this patriotic effort to recognize the contributions of our Escambia County Alabama Fallen War Heroes throughout this year; and remember to attend next year’s Memorial Day Ceremony. May we never forget the truth about our American Veterans: All gave some, but some gave their all!


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