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Give some time—they gave their lives PDF Print E-mail


On the heels of being at the cemetery on Memorial Day and having the familiar feeling of pride, patriotism, sadness and thankfulness, I visited the “Remembering Our Fallen” exhibit.
Back-to-back exhibits of what our soldiers have done for us makes quite an impact.
On Memorial Day, the sun was shining, the flowers were beautiful, the flags draped snugly against the poles in the still air. It was a gorgeous morning to pay tribute and view the “cemetery exhibit” of those who have given their lives for our freedom.
The tributes in the cemetery over Memorial Day, in my mind, are soldiers who died for our freedom in the old wars—World War I and World War II. Korea and Vietnam soldiers are recognized and honored for their role in our nation’s continued freedom as well. Of course, present-day military tribute is given also.
Then came my viewing of the “Remember Our Fallen” exhibit at the Perkins County Senior Center in Grant last week. There are 101 photos of Nebraska and Iowa soldiers who have died in the War on Terror. They are this generation’s soldiers.  
It’s an eye opener. The War on Terror is fresh and raw. The photos on display of soldiers who have given their lives for our country in the past few years are riveting. They are young sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters of this generation who are from towns recognizable all over the state. They are a fraction of the number killed across the nation who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
They are handsome young men and beautiful young women who fought against an invisible enemy. They’ve given their lives so we can be less fearful about entering a building, an arena, an airport right here on our soil without fearing the worst possible scenario of being blown up by a radical terrorist.
Take the time to visit the display at the senior center. It will open your eyes and tug at your heart. These young soldiers have died for America too. Their deaths have been for the reality of terrorism taking place right here in our country.
Freedom has reached a new level. Freedom from terrorism is going to be hard to achieve. At least take the time to look at their pictures and picture yourself as their mom, their dad, their sibling.......it’s easy to relate. The patriotic music playing in the background while a video silently displays daily activity, smiles and maneuvers taking place among our troops  is heart-wrenching.    
Insist that your children visit this exhibit. Go with them. This is their war. Collapse of the twin towers is etched in their minds.
They need to pay tribute to the soldiers from their home state who went to war to defend the freedom they’re enjoying this summer.
Jan Rahn