Our appreciation goes out to those who organized Memorial Day observances in our area last week, honoring the sacrifices made by those in uniform who gave their lives for our nation.
The Hall of Heroes Committee and Greater Talladega Chamber of Commerce in Talladega County and the A. L. McLaughlin Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans in St. Clair County honored those sacrifices.
Memorial Day originally began informally as decoration days after the Civil War, when people — mostly women — went to cemeteries to place flowers on the graves of soldiers who died in that war.
For decades, it was only the Civil War dead who were honored. It became a national Memorial Day, and later came to be a time to honor the fallen from all of our nation’s conflicts.
At the Fallen Heroes monument in front of the St. Clair County Courthouse in Pell City, Matthew Bein spoke from his experience as a Marine veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.
“A hero is someone that give his or her life to something bigger than one’s self,” he said. He noted the sacrifices made for freedom, and said “these heroes stood and looked fear in the face.”
At Veterans’ Park in Talladega, Brian Townsend spoke of the importance of remembering the accomplishments and sacrifices of Americans across the centuries, recalling the Alamo, Pearl Harbor, Doolittle’s raiders and more.
“For 400 years, we have faced one challenge after another,” he said. “We are the land of the free because we are the home of the brave.”
It is important to be reminded of the sacrifices made in the course of building and defending our nation. We honor their memory, and we thank those who worked to remind us of their sacrifices.