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‘Lest we forget,’ Memorial Day is upon us

Veteran's Corner

What would have been, under normal times, an extended weekend involving parties, barbecues and social functions, has unfortunately been put on hold this year.  Memorial Day is a somber, serious time for us veterans and the military. 

I will quote excerpts from a local Presbyterian Church service pamphlet dated May 30, 1943. It contains the names of 134 young men from Millerton serving overseas at that time. The cover included a pre-invasion quote from General Douglas MacArthur dated 1942: “At the alter, where I first joined the sanctuary of God, I ask you to seek divine guidance for me in the great struggle that looms ahead.”

Another excerpt in the pamphlet stated, “We are thinking tonight not only of the few score of men whose graves we have decorated, but the thousands upon thousands who sleep in other graves across the world, who have made it possible for this to remain the citadel of freedom and justice. We are thinking of the maimed and the broken, whose bodies were laid on the alter of sacrifice for us. We are thinking of those youths who are laying down their lives tonight, that we might live.” 

We vets, the military and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice, wish you patriotic readers and your families well this Memorial Day. Please take a brief moment for silent prayer for those thousands who gave up their lives to accord you the freedom to enjoy this weekend. 

We can never close our account with those who died on the field of honor. Perhaps the humblest tribute we can pay to their memory is to follow the wisdom of a young hero who died in WWI, who wrote to his mother just before he fell.

“The measure of a life is not its span but the use made of it,” he wrote.

I’ll end this column with my own remark: “Lest we forget those so many dreams buried forever — thank you.” 

Have a good weekend, count your blessings, cherish your family and close friends and say a brief prayer for yesterday’s fallen heroes as well as today’s heroes — our front line health providers — who are making supreme sacrifices saving the lives of those with COVID-19.  

Be safe, stay healthy and do a good deed whenever possible…

Millerton resident Larry Conklin is a member of both the Millerton American Legion Post 178 and the Couch-Pipa VFW Post 6851 in North Canaan, Conn.

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