Sadly, American flags were lowered to half staff Wednesday in Washington to honor the memory of another Beaufort County son killed in Iraq.
Joel Taylor, the son of Capt. Scottie Taylor with the Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS-Inspections Department and Karen Newman, was among the three American soldiers and an interpreter killed by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad on Tuesday.
Taylor’s death is tragic. Taylor being the third Beaufort County resident killed in the war in Iraq is even more tragic. As we honor the memory of Taylor, it’s also a time to remember Kevin Jones, a Washington resident and Army soldier killed when a roadside bomb exploded in Iraq in September 2005. It’s also a time to remember Johnathan Kirk, a Marine from Pamlico Beach who died in May 2007 from wounds received when a roadside bomb exploded in Iraq.
Taylor being among the more than 4,000 U.S. military personnel killed in the war in Iraq expounds the tragedy.
No matter one’s feelings about the war in Iraq, Taylor’s family and friends deserve support from the community. Taylor made the ultimate sacrifice while serving his country. As others will do the same in the coming days and weeks, some people won’t put themselves in harm’s way. Taylor did just that, accepting the risks for being willing to be placed in harm’s way.
There’s no doubt Taylor’s desire to serve and help others was influenced by his father, a career firefighter who is willing to put his life on the line for others. There’s no doubt the senior Taylor imparted that philosophy of serving others in his son. If the senior Taylor ever wonders how his life affects his community, all he needs to do is remember his son, a son who died in an effort to help others be free of tyranny and terrorism.
Joel Taylor had an excellent role model in his father. Even in death, Taylor can serve as a role model. His service to his country makes a statement about where his priorities were placed. The world would be better off with more people like Joel Taylor.
Joel Taylor had another role model, older brother Spc. John Scott Taylor, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division.
That’s another Taylor serving his fellow man, another Taylor willing to go in harm’s way.
This nation is as strong as it is because Americans have been willing to die to keep it’s message of freedom and liberty alive. Those war dead should be honored each day; their ultimate sacrifices should remembered each day.
It’s been a little more than a month since Americans observed Memorial Day. Next year, those attending the Memorial Day observance in Washington will have another loss to mourn.
Joel Taylor’s sacrifice should be remembered each day, not just one day of the year.
We owe him and his family nothing less because he gave nothing less than his life for a secure nation and freedom.