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It’s an event I must attend each year

I’ll admit it; it was hot. Heck, I was hot. For a person having grown up in Alabama and knowing triple digit heat in the South is very often accompanied by triple digit humidity, you would have thought I would have handled it better. But, nevertheless, I didn’t.

Monday, I had the pleasure of joining roughly a hundred others in attending Selma’s Memorial Day service, an event coordinated by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3016. It was a special service on a day set aside for honoring those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to our country.

And even though I was technically working, it was an event I would have attended while not on the job, and I have done so in other communities in which I’ve lived.

It is important for us to constantly thank and honor the men and women who have provided us the security to enjoy the freedoms afforded us by our Founding Fathers. It is a show of thanks we owe to the veterans who remain with us today, to those we have lost and to the men and women still serving in the Armed Forces. It is the very least we can do.

But as I stood there taking notes and photos, I could not help but be in awe of the veterans in uniform standing in the color guard, or VFW Post commander Rayburn Hill, presiding over the event in a full suit.

I was standing there wearing a golf shirt, shorts and sandals and sweating as if I had run a marathon. I wasn’t alone; there were others sweating through their shirts, panting a little and positioning themselves to catch any breeze that might roll through.

With all jokes aside, I also stood in awe of these men and women who continue to carry the torch for their friends, their colleagues, who are no longer with us. Each year, they come together to read the names of those from Selma and Dallas County who did not have the luxury of returning home from the battlefield.

Each year, these men and women answer the call of duty to put aside part of their holiday to remember those the holiday is designed to honor.

While those who attended the ceremony took the time to honor those lost, it is the least I can do today to honor those carrying on and doing what is right by honoring the veterans who died for our country, died for our freedoms and died defending our way of life.