The Star-Herald

Veterans need our support

To the editor:

Memorial Day is a federal holiday for remembering the men and women who have died while serving in the armed forces of the United States.

Traditional observance of Memorial Day seems to have faded in recent years and many Americans may have forgotten the true meaning of this holiday.

As I sit here and think about the holiday, I think about all the forgetfulness that we have in this part of Aroostook County. If you ask the average American in this county the meaning of Memorial Day, they will tell you that this holiday is about getting away to camp or to just enjoy the beginning of summer — hot dogs, hamburgers and taking it easy for a couple of days.

It seems that we have forgotten the “blood, sweat and tears” that it has taken to make this country great and free, because as the saying goes, “Freedom is not free.” We are now standing on the shoulders of great men and women of the past who have suffered and died to make this country great.

Our older veterans are fading away with “sad hearts” knowing that they did their best, but there is no one to carry on, because no one seems to care. We would not have anything in this world to call our own if it wasn’t for the veterans of this country.

I have known veterans who are residents of our nursing homes that do not have anything left except their memories of the past. They have lost their wives and loved ones and no one comes to visit these heroes, especially on Memorial Day or Veterans Day. They are forgotten, just as our history seems to have forgotten why they are there.

We’re in this together. We are all patriots.

Each Memorial Day we celebrate by giving a parade so that these proud veterans who survived and gave their all are honored. But as General MacArthur said in his 1946 speech to Congress, “Old veterans never die, they just fade away.”

Do we say “goodbye America” or do we stand and fight for our liberty that God has granted us? Our veterans and their organizations need your help. Will you help them?

This year, 2019 Memorial Day parade there will be no veterans color guard, no grand marshall and no flags displayed on the Main Street of Presque Isle. We need your help and we need your support. Let us not forget what they have given us. I also pray that the younger veterans will stand up and support all the veterans organizations of Aroostook County and once again be proud that they served their country and are now serving their community.

May God bless Memorial Day and the United States of America.

Craig Fay
Chaplain, Marine Corps League
Presque Isle

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