To The Sun:
I am thankful to everyone involved that I got to go on the honor flight with the Parsons High School student guardians and sponsors last week.
Jenna Kendrick was a pleasure to have as a guardian for George O’Neal and myself. There has already been a very nice article in Parsons Sun about our trip so I don’t want repeat that.
Monday was Memorial Day and we are supposed to remember all our veterans who gave their lives for our freedoms.
On the trip we visited Arlington National Cemetery and watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Then the bus took us around different parts of that cemetery.
This weekend Wendy and I visited several local cemeteries where our family members are buried and also a drive through Oakwood Cemetery and visited the graves of some of the Civil War veterans and its impressive GAR memorials.
Because of our recent visit to Arlington and the World War II, Korea, and Vietnam memorials with the students on the honor flight, I became acutely aware than most of the soldiers whose bodies were buried in those rows of white grave markers were very young people who gave their lives in defense of our country. I realized most of the war dead were just a few years older than the exciting young students from Parsons High School who were our guardians. The vast majority of those soldiers I cared for in Vietnam were this young also.
Retired First Sgt. Henry Gatewood stresses to the fourth-graders at the VFW Americanism Day that “freedom is not free.” We owe a great debt to all those very young people who gave their lives protecting our freedoms. Please pray for our young people, our national and world leaders that they may come to understand the commandment “love thy neighbor as thyself.” — DR. STEVE MILLER, Parsons, a Vietnam veteran