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Honoring sacrifice; celebrating the future
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Forsyth County News
It is an appropriate coincidence of timing that local high school graduation ceremonies this year bookend the annual observance of Memorial Day.

In the members of the class of 2010 who march across stages diploma in hand, we have an integral cog in the nation’s future.

In the soldiers whose memories we honor with holiday recognition, we have the foundations upon which any future for the country must be built.

It is likely that few, if any, of those donning cap and gown and stepping forward to the measured rhythms of Pomp and Circumstance will pause to consider that their elevated standard of living has been made possible by sacrifices made on battlefields from Ft. Sumter to Afghanistan.

Nor should they. The men and women who wear the nation’s uniforms and put their lives in danger do so so that those at home do not have to be consumed by fear and worry fostered by the world around them.

Still, it would be nice if somewhere along the way those teens — whose bright minds and boundless enthusiasm will one day shape a world of their own making — were to be reminded of the high price paid by some for freedoms and opportunities we all take for granted.

Perhaps someone could refer them to, where with but a keystroke or two they can find the names of all the American soldiers who died in the steamy jungles of Vietnam in a war that too rapidly is fading from the nation’s awareness. Or maybe from a podium a speaker could simply refer to the 400,000 American soldiers who died in World War II, a startling number from a generation that soon will be gone forever.

There are, thankfully, some who will be cognizant of the price paid in military lives through the centuries of the nation’s existence. In each local graduating class there are young men and women preparing for a life of honor in defense of the American ideal, future soldiers whose service will make possible the dreams and ambitions of their classmates and those in classes yet to come.

To the class of 2010, we say congratulations. Build upon the sacrifices made by those whose lives were forfeited so that others could avoid the terror of war.

And to those whose sacrifices paved the way for each cap and tassel tossed into the air at ceremony’s conclusion, we can offer only a humble and hopelessly inadequate thanks from a grateful nation.