A bell chimed 65 times Monday, one time for each veteran who died in the last year at Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City.
Add those to a consecrated list of veterans who die each day across this country and the 1.35 million who have been killed in all U.S. conflicts since the Revolutionary War and you have a group of dedicated citizen soldiers who cannot and should not be ignored.
“The cost of our freedom came at a high price,” U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Michael Wester said during a tribute to veterans at Bill Nichols on Memorial Day. “Today, we honor them and carry on the legacy of service of those great Americans.”
Too often we forget about the sacrifices those millions of men and women made to free us from British tyranny, to save the nation from splitting apart, to save the world from the Nazis and free even more around the world from oppression. We remain the beacon of the world because of them.
The crowd gathered at Bill Nichols heard a 21-gun salute and “Taps.” Wheelchair-bound veterans clutched American flags and somberly recalled what they and their comrades endured.
Remember, even if you don’t support the military, it’s the military which fought and continues to fight to give you the right to disagree. They gave their best for us and deserve the utmost respect and gratitude from all of us.