Memorial Day — Remembering the promise they made

By Steven Robertson | May 25, 2014
Photo by: Donated PAYING TRIBUTE — Former Post 61 Commander Arthur Lee sets up a flag and cross tribute recognizing fallen veterans in Canton.

Memorial Day comes every year and has many different meanings to American families. In most cases, Americans are preparing to kick off summer plans with promises of activities made to family and friends far and wide. Most often, these simple pleasures are overlooked by one simple fact — they were secured long ago by men and women willing to die if necessary defending our freedoms.

Let’s take a moment and recognize these American heroes for keeping a much larger promise. Many Americans have given the ultimate promise to secure our freedoms. One such example is described by the American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger.

“We don’t just honor those who participated in the most hellacious firefights,” Dellinger said. “We honor the more than 1 million men and women who lost their lives defending America in wars from the Revolution to the global war on terrorism — people like Marine Sgt. William Stacey, who was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan when he was killed by an IED blast while walking patrol in Helmand province Jan. 23, 2012.

Stacey is just one of our American heroes who kept a promise, and like so many others should always be remembered this Memorial Day. Our country’s past and future depends on men and women prepared to keep a promise — the gift of freedom.

Nearly five years ago, the Haywood County Veterans Council initiative secured funds to purchase flags and related materials for memorial tributes recognizing Haywood County fallen heroes. Today there are five locations around the county posting memorial tributes. The American Legion Varner-Rhinehart Post 61 assists by setting up memorial tributes in downtown Canton and the Beaverdam community.

We feel privileged to honor our hometown heroes and hope everyone will take time to remember their promise.

Steven Robertson is an adjunct at American Legion Post 61 in Canton.