Two weeks ago, we ran a feature story in The Leader-Union about two local men who traveled to Washington, D.C., as part of a program called Honor Flight.
In that program, veterans – particularly those who served in World War II – are treated to a free one-day trip to see our nation’s capital and the war memorials there. Organizers want it to be a way to say thanks to those men for the sacrifices they made for their country.
It was a trip that was much appreciated by Carlos Biellier and Floyd Meseke. Both men are now in their 80s, but their memories of their days in uniform are as clear as if it were yesterday.
And their pride in their service to their country burns bright, even more than 60 years removed from that service.
Though the trip stirred many memories for both men, one of the lasting impressions of their trip was the reception they received from people during the tour. They received spontaneous ovations as they passed through airports. They had people walk up to them and thank them for their service as they toured the war memorials. They received dozens of letters from friends and family members.
Somehow, that outpouring of gratitude and respect is what Monday’s Memorial Day holiday is all about. We should use that time to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and we should take time to say a heartfelt thank-you to those who are still with us.
Many of us have no direct connection with the horrors of war, but this Memorial Day we can remember those who traveled that route in our place. Take time to attend one of the many services that are being conducted across Fayette County.
Among those events are: Sunday at 2 p.m. in Vandalia at the Crawford-Hale American Legion Home; Sunday at 2 p.m. in St. Elmo at the Veterans Memorial; Monday at 10 a.m. in Brownstown at the city park; and Monday at 10 a.m. in St. Peter at the city park.