The readers’ forum

They sacrificed for duty, honor and country


From one Memorial Day to another we are all in bereavement over the passing of our distinguished and heroic military brothers and sisters. In our hearts, we all know that death is a part of life; in fact, death gives meaning to our existence because it reminds us how precious life is.

Let us mourn and grieve our loss through honoring our dead. May we have many happy remembrances of them.

Today, the spirit of the American fighter lives all around and among us. We are each favored and blessed by the presence of this distinguished spirit. Let us receive it and be proud and thankful that the spirit will abide with us forever. There is no higher calling in our country than tending to the needs of our aging American patriots and their families. Let us proudly convey this to the next generation with patriotic passion.

Command Sgt. Maj. James Lloyd Smart was highly qualified to be buried in our nation’s most hallowed and respected ground, Arlington National Cemetery. He refused, saying, “Arlington is for heroes. I’m no hero.” His heroic struggle was living proof that he truly was an American hero who valiantly fought and bravely died.

The gallant and distinguished spirits will dwell among us always. Through this requiem mass may God grant them eternal rest and peace.

We are fortunate that our sons and daughters of this great nation volunteer to serve our country so that we may live and work among the spirits of our great military patriots.

We should remember our fallen soldiers while they were alive and let their conduct be our guide. We can find no better human spirit to guide us toward our living code of conduct.

The patriotic spirit of those daring and brave men who have passed on remind us daily to continue projecting our lives in their sacrifice for duty, honor and country.

Embodied in the men and women who serve today is a scarce and precious quality essential for the survival of our nation — the steadfast power of the spirit of the American Fighting Man. Pass it on.

Ken Sampson, veteran volunteer,

VA Hospital, Miami

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