Join the Heroes As They Gather


May, 2005

It is time for a reality check as our Town and City leaders wring their hands over budgets that don’t stretch to meet everyone’s expressed needs, and citizens grind their teeth because some service is slightly diminished.

 But, we are not living in a time of deprivation. Quite the contrary, we are living in a time of plenty. We are relatively free and fabulously wealthy when compared to most of the peoples of this earth. It is time to think about who gave us these gifts and why.

Memorial Day is nearly upon us and many of our readers will view it as another opportunity to have a relaxing day off. Maybe that is what our veterans would say they fought for … they are a generous group. But we are free and we are able to enjoy all the great and wonderful things around us because a few of our fellow citizens took the ultimate risk, and some even made the ultimate sacrifice.

Each month since we began publishing The Valley Patriot, we have recognized the military service of a local veteran … first as a “Valley Patriot of the Month” and, for the last six months, in more extensive articles entitled “Hero in Our Midst”.

Interviewing these brave veterans and publishing their extraordinary stories have deepened our appreciation for the sacrifices they made and the risks they took to ensure that our freedoms were preserved. Most of these veterans were in their teens or early twenties when they stood up and took the oath to serve and protect this country. Some said they were driven by anger. Others remembered being driven by patriotism. In fact, these emotions were just different sides of the same coin.

Fear was another emotion that these brave souls often confessed to. When they heard the title of our series, they routinely said that they were not heroes … often noting that it was their fellow soldiers, or those that never returned, that were the true heroes.

Yes, some were more fortunate than others, but they were all heroes. They faced fear, uncertainty and a determined enemy, and put their lives at risk so that their – our – country would remain free and secure.

The least we should do is attend a Memorial Day Service to reflect on the sacrifices made on our behalf and to give silent thanks to those who gave their lives. When you go, bring your children so that the debt we owe these veterans will not be forgotten by future generations. And, while you’re there, look a veteran in the eye, shake his/her hand, and thank them for their service.

God bless them, one and all.

Contact Your Veterans Services Offices

for Info on Memorial Day Ceremonies

Methuen: Ed “Hoppy” Curran – (978) 794-3216

Haverhill: Michael Ingham (978) 374-2351

Andover: John Doherty (978) 623-8218

North Andover: Ed Mitchell (978) 688-9525

(978) 682-6378

Lawrence: Daniel Lannon (978) 794-5846