This is the time to remember fallen heroes

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By Carl Hendrickson, For the Call

When our youngest son was in Cub Scouts, I served as Cubmaster. On Memorial Day weekend we would join with thousands of other Scouts and leaders to place flags on the graves of the fallen at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in the “Good Turn.”

Here officers are buried next to the members of the military they led. In looking at the grave markers, it is apparent that many were very young.

When I joined the Army, I was 18 and served on active duty until almost 22.

I was fortunate. I served during the Cold War and did not see combat. But I know that I owe much to those who sacrificed their life for me.

From our humble beginnings as a nation to our current status as a superpower, men and women of our country have never hesitated to answer the call to duty. They came from all walks of life, but shared fundamental qualities of courage, determination and dedication to duty. They were ordinary individuals who responded in extraordinary ways in extreme times.

Millions before them had fought for kings, in the hope of pillaging and enslaving their fellow man. Our fallen men and women put on their uniforms and took up their weapons to preserve our liberty, to preserve our legacy of free speech and free press and to ensure that we may worship our God as we chose.

To us, the living, they have passed the torch of freedom. It is part of their legacy to us. It is up to us to keep it burning brightly. We must preserve the freedom we have inherited and ensure that it will be there for our children and grandchildren.

We must never forget those who sacrificed their lives so that others may live in freedom. As an individual and as a nation we must never forget the sacrifice they made for us.

Whenever we show respect for the flag, cast a ballot on Election Day, or exercise our freedom of speech, we honor our dead who guaranteed us these rights.

I realize that what I have written pales in significance to the sacrifice that our fallen heroes have made. But I do so in the hope that we shall never forget their sacrifice. For it is because of their sacrifice that I have this freedom of expression.

I ask each reader to pray for our fallen heroes and for their families who are suffering the absence of loved ones. I ask that you also pray for those who still defend us and cannot be with family due to their commitment to service.

May we never forget our fallen heroes.