During a crisis, we honor heroes.
In a speech planned to be given at Memorial Day ceremonies across the country, officials at the American Legion National Headquarters said the most visible heroes during this coronavirus pandemic are the healthcare workers who are placing their lives on the line to save others.
Those heroes have much in common with the heroes that will be honored Monday — America's fallen veterans.
“They are men and women who have sacrificed their own lives so others could live. They are both elite and ordinary. They are elite in the sense of character. Giving your life so others could live is the ultimate definition of selfless,” the speech says.
While Monday is still a day to remember those lost, many American Legions and VFWs, including some in Washington County, have opted to cancel their Memorial Day programs amid coronavirus concerns. Small communities like Arlington, Fort Calhoun and Kennard draw large crowds, including many in the older residents. So it is understandable that they would choose to cancel this year's ceremonies. However, they will still decorate the cemeteries as they do every year.
Blair VFW Post 1251 and Jackson-Peck American Legion Post 274 will still hold Memorial Day ceremonies at 10 a.m. Monday at their respective cemeteries. Using social distancing, officials with both organizations felt they could still proceed.
“The fact that we remember our fallen brothers and sisters is important,” said Denny Webb, commander of the Blair VFW.
It is commendable that these ceremonies are still happening, while keeping safety in mind.
We should never forget and we should still honor those heroes.