May 19, 2014

Letter: Honor the fallen

— With Memorial Day fast approaching it is time for Americans to reflect and to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice. If not for these men and women and veterans nationwide, living or deceased, we would not retain the freedoms that we have and enjoy.

The following number of American deaths come from Statistic Brain, an Internet-based site.

• Iraq: 4,800

• Afghanistan: 2,229

• Gulf War: 258

• Vietnam: 58,209

• Korea: 36,516

• World War II: 405,399

• World War I: 116,516

• Civil War: 625,000

• American Revolution: 25,000

• Wounded in all wars: 1,529,230

• Missing in action: 38,159

That is 1,343,812 men and women that we as Americans should make an effort to honor this Memorial Day. One way Murray countians and surrounding area residents can do this is to come to Murray County Veterans Memorial Park and participate in the honoring of these men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.

Food will be served. The Chatsworth Elementary School Chorus will be singing patriotic songs. There will be an interview with Marvin Childers, a World War II veteran. In addition, there will be displays of military memorabilia from World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and a small sampling of the present desert wars. (If anyone has items from the desert wars that they would like to display, email me at

Individual groupings from World War I and World War II will be on display, and campsites will be set up to show what life was like in the field. Bring the kids out and honor the fallen on Saturday, May 24, at 11 a.m.

At this point I would like to commend and thank those people that had a dream to build a Veterans Memorial at the park. This was a dream that many thought was impossible. With the blessing of then-sole commissioner Jim Welch, the mission impossible began and led to the grandest park entrance in this part of the country. Thanks again to this committee for their diligence in achieving their goal and I promise that myself and others will be there for you in the future!

Dale Sluder