We re­mem­ber those who sac­ri­ficed all

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Each year around Me­mo­rial Day, we ask our read­ers to pause and re­mem­ber those brave ser­vice­men and ser­vice­women who gave their lives in the fight to pro­tect and up­hold our coun­try’s free­doms. We ask you to do no less this year — and we are even do­ing a lit­tle bit more our­selves.

Last fall, APG of Ch­e­sa­peake Me­dia’s South­ern Mary­land news­pa­pers launched the Trib­utes Pro­gram, which aims to honor lo­cal he­roes in our com­mu­nity through spe­cial bonus pub­li­ca­tions themed around cer­tain na­tional hol­i­days. Our first bonus edi­tion, pub­lished around Veter­ans Day, paid trib­ute to lo­cal veter­ans by shar­ing some of their sto­ries, and pro­ceeds from the Mar yland In­de­pen­dent’s bonus edi­tion sales were do­nated to Mary­land Veter­ans Mu­seum in New­burg.

This week­end, we an­nounce the launch of our sec­ond Trib­utes pub­li­ca­tion, this time geared to­ward hon­or­ing those who not only fought for our coun­try, but also gave the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice in do­ing so. This Me­mo­rial Day edi­tion will be de­liv­ered to our sub­scribers and hits news­stands to­mor­row, May 28. In it, you will read about: • A Prince Fred­er­ick man who fondly re­mem­bers his twin brother, the first African-Amer­i­can from Calvert to be killed in com­bat in Viet­nam;

• A Leonard­town para­trooper who died af­ter his boat was hit by Ger­man fire while cross­ing a river in Hol­land in World War II;

• More re­cently, a U.S. Marine from North Beach who was killed in a he­li­copter crash in Afghanistan dur­ing Op­er­a­tion En­dur­ing Free­dom; and

• The his­tory be­hind Mary­land Veter­ans Me­mo­rial Mu­seum at Pa­triot Park in New­burg and its work to pre­serve the mem­o­ries of those who died while serv­ing our coun­try.

The names and faces fea­tured in this Me­mo­rial Day edi­tion are just some of the in­di­vid­u­als from South­ern Mary­land who, through­out our na­tion’s var­i­ous mil­i­tary con­flicts, gave their lives for their coun­try and the free­doms we enjoy to­day. The very least we can do for our part is of­fer a means of record­ing and shar­ing their sto­ries.

In ad­di­tion, we plan to do­nate a por­tion of the pro­ceeds from this spe­cial pub­li­ca­tion to the Char­lotte Hall Veter­ans Home, which has served tri-county veter­ans and their spouses since 1985 and of­fers as­sisted liv­ing, on­site med­i­cal ser­vices and a nurs­ing home care pro­gram.

“Char­lotte Hall Veter­ans Home truly de­pends on do­na­tions and vol­un­teers to add that ‘spe­cial touch’ that sets us apart from other long-term care and as­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­i­ties,” said Sharon Mat­tia, the veter­ans home’s di­rec­tor. “Through do­na­tions we have been able to pro­vide new re­hab equip­ment, wheel­chairs, 50-inch TVs for day­rooms, an elec­tric mes­sag­ing sys­tem, dances, spe­cial meals, ball­games, fish­ing trips, eye­glasses, burial for in­di­gent veter­ans, den­tal ser­vices, an out­door cov­ered pavil­ion for res­i­dents to enjoy out­door ac­tiv­i­ties . ... Our motto is ‘serv­ing those who served.’”

So, as we en­ter into a three-day week­end fa­mous for its cook­outs, swimming pool open­ings and family gath­er­ings, we once again ask you to re­flect on the rea­son be­hind the hol­i­day, and — if you would please take some time — to read the sto­ries about and pay re­spect to some of our re­gion’s bravest ser­vice mem­bers who never made it home.

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