Johnson asks for action during Memorial Day Ceremony
As in years past, the Beckham County Sheriff’s Department took charge of the Veteran’s Memorial Day Ceremony held at the Vietnam Memorial in Fairlawn Cemetery in Elk City Monday morning. After Shawn Wilson sang patriotic songs with the crowd joining him, Retired Army Lt. Colonel Tom Mike Johnson took the podium as the keynote speaker.
He reminded everyone that Memorial Day was about remembering those who did not return from battle and not just a day of family celebration and shopping. He spoke of the families, children, husbands and wives who remember their loved ones, not only one day out of the year, but everyday.
Johnson recalled his own experience as he commanded 150 men during the Vietnam War, wondering what he might have done differently to save the soldiers who were wounded or lost their lives. He noted that he thinks about them everyday, being changed forever by the experience. This, he called the “burden of war.”
He used the words of Abraham Lincoln, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan,” in affirming the government’s obligation to care for those injured during the war and to provide for the families of those who perished on the battlefield. Johnson then turned to the audience to encourage them to reach out to care for veterans in the community.
The Army Veteran charged the audience to take action throughout the year by voting, taking a veteran to an appointment or giving them thanks for giving the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms enjoyed by all. He concluded with challenging everyone to take action because words are useless without action.
Johnson used John F. Kennedy’s quote to make his point, “As we ex...
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