Veterans should be respected

Published 10:45 pm Thursday, August 6, 2009

We throw around the term “hero” lightly sometimes. But a hero isn’t a homerun king or rock star.

No, a hero is someone like Bob Frater or Jasper Carl Glass. Both these men served their country with distinction in World War II.

The two veterans represented Chilton County last month during an Honor Flight trip. Honor Flight is a nonprofit that flies World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. to see monuments built in their honor.

During the last three years, I’ve talked with several veterans from Chilton County and neighboring Shelby County who have traveled to D.C. with Honor Flight.

All these men lived such interesting lives. I wish I had more than just an hour or so to interview them … they have such compelling stories to tell.

Though I only talk briefly with these veterans, I realize right away what deep love they share for their country.

They speak with conviction about a war that ended more than 60 years ago. They make the events seem like they happened yesterday, but I guess, no amount of time can erase the pride they have in their service or the sadness felt for those who didn’t make it back home.

We should thank these brave men and women every day for their service, and it angers me when people don’t appreciate what they’ve done.

Last month, just a few days before Frater and Glass left bound for D.C., somebody stole that Navy flag at the Veterans Pavilion at City Park.

It’s sad someone would have so little respect for our veterans. What makes it worse is this isn’t the first time someone has vandalized or stolen flags from the pavilion.

That’s a shame.