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SLO Country honors those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice

31 May 2017

Today the long holiday weekend concludes and everyone gets on the highways again for the journey home. Most of our citizens today have not been directly impacted by war.

With the sun high in the sky, Santaquin veterans, family members and residents gathered Monday to remember those in the community who had served their country. This service often took them thousands of miles from home to risky places ravaged by war and disaster. More than a million men and women have paid such a price in service to their country from the Revolutionary War through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sandoval told the crowd that most Americans never fully understand the sacrifice of the nation's soldiers, and that remembering them helps lay a foundation for a stronger future. "They're coming around now, and it's a good thing".

These veterans often keep their experiences to themselves. "Our district, New York's 21st district, has the highest number of veterans out of any other district in NY state, so to see the outpouring of support of community members and veterans going back to World War II is really humbling", Stefanik said. Just imagine the impact and the message of "thanks" if we each donated $20, or wrote a personalized card to a nonprofit that supports military families. 3 p.m. was chosen because it is when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday, which always falls on the last Monday in May.

SLO Country honors those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice
SLO Country honors those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice

There was the traditional 21 gun salute to honor those who've died fighting four our freedom.

The groups who hosted the event are: VFW Post 1668 & Auxiliary, VFW Post 6760, American Legion Post 11 & Auxiliary, American Legion Post 359 & Auxiliary, Sons of American Legion, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 6, Marine Corps League, American War Dads Chapter 7, Military Officers Retired Association, and Legion of Honor. They are part of Operation Wild Horse, an equine therapy program meant to create awareness of the problem of suicides among veterans.

That's because while the language of war is the same, the issues each veteran faces when coming home may differ along with how they choose to handle it. "This right here is why they got it".

On this Memorial Day, let's rededicate ourselves to improving life for those who survived war's hell, and to honoring all of those who lost their lives to it. Their graves are in places like Arlington National Cemetery and in cemeteries overseas, and they can be found in local cemeteries.

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SLO Country honors those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice