Valdosta Daily Times

March 27, 2013

Lest we forget ...

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — As a nation, we too often forget.

We commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq war’s start, but still we forget.

When we see them walking in uniform amongst us, we may thank our military men and women. We let them step in front of us in line, or we buy their meal, if we’re thinking, if we’re not in too much of a rush, but often, even when our intentions are good, we still forget.

We place stickers advocating our Armed Forces on our cars, without really thinking of the meaning behind the words, “We Support Our Troops.” We’ve seen these stickers for so long that we now see them without really seeing them at all, and still we forget.

Yet, on today’s front page is a reminder. One well worth noting, despite the nation’s oversight in remembering, despite our willingness to forget.

We forget we are at war.

We forget that uniformed American men and women are still being deployed into harm’s way. We forget that members of our own community are still making the sacrifices to fulfill their sworn pledges of duty, risking all to keep our nation safe.

On Tuesday, 350 members of Moody Air Force Base deployed overseas. Three-hundred-and-fifty members of our community have gone there to fight for you, me, and all the rest of us.

While they are away, their families will celebrate birthdays without them, their children will grow a few inches without them, their spouses will manage the jobs of mother and father without them.

And these families will never once stop worrying for their uniformed loved one overseas. Their families will never forget, not for a moment, where their loved ones are and what they are doing.

Nor should we.

Three-hundred-and-fifty Americans left these United States Tuesday. Three-hundred-and-fifty of what makes our nation and our community great have left South Georgia.

As a nation and a community, we are diminished in their absence, but we are ennobled by their sacrifice.

That’s something we should all remember.