Editorial: Herkimer offers vets a deserved tribute
AT ISSUE: A Herkimer County effort to send World War II veterans to see national monument in Washington, D.C.
Wed, May 11, 2005

There is no tribute as well deserved than Herkimer County's campaign to send its World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the national monument built in their honor.

The community should be proud.

Herkimer County lawyer John Brennan, whose father served in World War II with the U.S. Marines, put together a group of business leaders who raised money from throughout the community so the veterans could make the trip free of charge. Fifty-four went in October and another 54 went last week. A final group will visit in late September.

It is fitting that the visits take place as America marks the 60th anniversary of the end of the war that gave us the Greatest Generation. The unconditional surrender of Germany was signed at Rheims on May 7, 1945, and ratified the next day in Berlin. May 8 is marked by the Allies as Victory in Europe (VE) Day.

Brennan said Herkimer County's recognition of its veterans was long overdue. And it's small payback, perhaps, for the sacrifices made more than half a century ago by bold young soldiers and sailors, many of whom today are slowed by age but still stand proud in the shadow of Old Glory.

Honoring our World War II veterans and preserving their memories is a noble mission for us all. Over the past decade many groups, ranging from school classes to historical societies, have worked tirelessly to collect and record the stories of veterans, who are estimated to be dying at a rate of 1,500 a day. Those efforts have resulted in the collection of thousands of stories from veterans across the nation.

In a few short weeks, groups will gather for Memorial Day ceremonies in communities large and small to pay respects to the men and women who gave so selflessly of themselves in all of America's wars. What a wonderful thing that Herkimer County was able to do something for some who are still with us, a small token of appreciation to those who gave so much.

Click Here to Return to the News Page