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In respect for a protector of democracy

Vaden

Geraldine L. Vaden, World War II veteran and patriot emeritus

World War II veteran Geraldine Vaden, Army Nurse Corps, of Marion celebrated her 90th birthday Friday, July 16, at Archibald Hall on the Judson Campus.

Many friends, family and admirers were in attendance. The following is my tribute to this remarkable American patriot.

You are a very special lady and one who gained the admiration and respect of your peers and adversaries alike. Called upon during the dark days of WW II to come to the aid of your country, you answered the call voluntarily.

At a time when the world was at war and the outcome was very much in doubt, you were there performing your duties admirably. Not in the least concerned for your own safety, you saw to the well being of others.

You let nothing come in the way of your dedication to the wounded and maimed, nursing them back to life. Due to your efforts and care many soldiers owe a debt of gratitude to you and the other wonderful nurses of the Army Nurse Corps.

You and your colleagues, along with many other Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guards and Army Air Corps military personnel helped rescue the world from despot Nazi, fascist and imperialist dictators.

Helping restore sanity, peace and order to a war ravaged world is on your resume.

No one can deny your importance to the cause and admiration of your courage and skillful devotion to duty.

Mrs. Vaden, we, your fellow veterans and countrymen and women, are grateful for your service to our country.

You have set a very high bar for all of us to strive to attain. May we all achieve the very high standards of patriotism, love of country and dedication to God and country as you have reached.

We salute you on your 90th birthday and implore our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to grant you many more.

Thank you so much for your service to our beloved United States of America. You are an inspiration to all of us.

A John Quincy Adams quote could be ascribed to you and the WW II generation: “Posterity — you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.”

James G. Smith is a local columnist.