By: Marlana Ward
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Everyday in America, over 2,000,000 service men and women are ready to lay down their lives in defense of the freedoms we enjoy today. The price for these freedoms has been paid in blood and most families living in the United States have known the pain of losing a loved one in service to their country.
Since its beginnings as Decoration Day after the Civil War, thousands of monuments and markers have been laid to commemorate the great sacrifices by our military men and women. As those in the American military continue to defend freedom throughout the world, the number of those lost in service is ever increasing. The number of American Service Men and Women lost since Memorial Days beginnings are as follows: (numbers obtained from va.gov and defense.gov)
Civil War- 620,000, WWI- 116,516, WWII- 405,399, Korean War- 36,574, Vietnam War- 58,220
Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm- 1,948, Operation Iraqi Freedom- 4,425, Operation New Dawn- 66, Operation Enduring Freedom- 2,355, Operation Inherent Resolve- 5, Operation Freedoms Sentinel- 1
On Monday, May 25th, citizens of Johnson County gathered together to remember the lives and sacrifices of our local heroes that served to protect our country. The ceremony began with American Legion Commander Robert Hensley (U.S. Air Force Veteran) welcoming the crowd. The Johnson County Honor Guard proudly performed the Presentation of Colors as Mrs. Nancy Davis sang our national anthem. Marine Corps Veteran Mr. Don Faulkner led all in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance. Invocation was given by Pastor Jim Norman. Mrs. Lindsey DeBord Yoggerst performed two patriotic songs and the crowd stood together during her performance of God Bless the USA.
City Mayor Lawrence Keeble addressed the crowd about the importance of Memorial Day and stressed the high cost of freedom for all United States citizens. Keeble also brought to light that though most democracies are said to only last 200 years, ours has survived for over 230 due to the strength and sacrifices of those who choose to serve our country. He also encouraged all in attendance to visit the Johnson County Courthouse where the Iron Mountain Riders Motorcycle Club had placed a memorial in honor of all the Johnson County citizens lost in war.
County Mayor Larry Potter reminded everyone of how all service men and women leave their families and homes to go abroad and defend freedom at home.
To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.