Take time to honor our fallen heroes

Pay respect to the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for America
Navy veteran Jack Crawford, who was serving aboard the USS Yorktown when it was sunk during the Battle of Midway in 1942, once remarked: “There aren’t many things you can take out of this planet, but you can take with you, wherever you go, consciousness of duty faithfully performed.”
This is the way of the military, where answering the call of duty may require soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen to go in harm’s way to protect our way of life.
Of the million-plus men and women who have died in American military service, the majority were everyday heroes who served faithfully without expectations of gratitude or glory for their sacrifice.
On Memorial Day — and every day — we pause to honor the military men and women who never had the privilege of a homecoming. We thank and honor them by remembering them.
We remember Joshua Bernard, from New Portland, Maine, a Marine lance corporal, killed in Afghanistan in August 2009 from wounds suffered when the enemy attacked his unit with rocket fire.
We remember Army Spc. Katrina Bell-Johnson, from Orangeburg, South Carolna, killed in Iraq during a vehicle accident as she transported supplies to fellow soldiers.
We remember Mark De Alencar, of Edgewood, Maryland, assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group out of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. He lost his life this past April in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.
And we remember fellow Schenectadian Michael D. Laymon, a member of the Linton High School Class of 1965 and a Marine lance corporal who was killed Aug. 31, 1967, while serving in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam.
In a nation where so few among our citizens have donned the uniform and accepted the inherent risks, it is only right that we honor those men and women who have given their lives in service to our country. Men and women, who when their country called, they answered.
Some volunteered and some were called upon to service, but no matter how they found their way into the ranks of the military, each gave faithfully and to their fullest. This along makes them heros worthy of our remembrance.
Robert J. Serotta 
The writer is the commander of the Lt. Vibert O. Fryer, Chapter 88 of the Disabled American Veterans.

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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