Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

April 23, 2014

OUR VIEW: Appreciation of veterans’ service shouldn’t fade

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — With Memorial Day just over a month away, we were offered poignant reminders this week about the sacrifices of servicemen in World War II and the Korean War – and of the pride felt by both surviving veterans and the families of fallen soldiers.

Two occasions in Glasgow on Saturday illuminated our area’s rich military history. Local Korean War veterans of the Kentucky National Guard’s 623rd Field Artillery Unit gathered for a reunion alongside a few World War II vets. Meanwhile, the family of Temple Hill Pfc. Henry Paul Perkins – who died in a WWII battle in Germany in 1945 – donated some of Perkins’ medals and other service memorabilia to the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center.

No one should need a special reason to acknowledge and appreciate any soldier’s service to our country. But as WWII and Korea, even Vietnam, fade deeper into history, and as the number of surviving veterans of these conflicts dwindle by the day, we should all feel an obligation to honor the men and women who put their lives on hold – or gave their lives entirely – for the benefit of future generations.

Showing gratitude for veterans has nothing to do with our individual opinions about the legitimacy of American conflicts, past or present. It has everything to do with recognizing that our servicemen and servicewomen answered a call that thrust them into situations few of us can fathom. For that, we owe them a debt that might be impossible to repay. But a simple “thank you” goes a long way.