Published 2:49 pm Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The project to build a memorial at Veterans Park in Washington is one deserving of support.
The memorial will pay tribute to all of Washington and Beaufort County’s war dead, including those killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq such as Kevin Jones, Johnathan Kirk and Joel Taylor. Jones was a Washington resident and Army soldier killed when a roadside bomb exploded in Iraq in September 2005. Kirk, a Marine from Pamlico Beach, died in May 2007 from wounds received when a roadside bomb exploded in Iraq. Taylor was killed by a roadside bomb in June of this year.
That memorial also is for honoring the memory of Air Force Capt. Patrick Brian Olson, a Washington High School and Air Force Academy graduate who died Feb. 27, 1991, when his plane crashed during the Persian Gulf War.
No matter one’s feelings about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan or the Persian Gulf War, those men and their families and friends deserve support from the community. Each made the ultimate sacrifice while serving his country. As there are some people who will do the same in the coming days, weeks and years, there are some people won’t put themselves in harm’s way. Those four accepted the risks for being willing to be placed in harm’s way.
The United States of America is as strong as it is because Americans have been willing to die to keep its message of freedom and liberty alive. Those war dead should be honored each day; their ultimate sacrifices should be remembered each day.
The memorial, known as a fallen-soldier memorial or battlefield cross, is the least that Washington and Beaufort County can do to honor the memories of those willing to give their all to keep freedom and the hope of freedom alive.
Do not forget Jeremy Goodman, a soldier and Washington native, still suffering from severe injuries caused by a roadside bomb in September 2005.
Those men deserve to be remembered, but not just on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. The battlefield cross at Veterans Park would be a reminder to remember those men every day. Those two days are much more than just holidays, days off from work for most people.
On Monday, representatives from area veterans’ groups met with Washington officials to choose an appropriate memorial and a site for that memorial. The local veterans groups — Disabled American Veterans, the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion Posts 15, 249, 263 and 313 and the American Legion Auxiliary — and the city should be commended for coming together about a month ago and organizing such a project.
On June 30, the Washington City Council allocated $4,400 to purchase a bronze monument. The monument will be unveiled Nov. 11, Veterans Days. A plaque on the monument will be inscribed with these words: ALL GAVE SOME — SOME GAVE ALL.
Washington, Beaufort County, North Carolina and this nation owe America’s war dead, past and future, at least this much and more.