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Letter to the editor: Solemn duty

To the editor:

Thank you to everyone who attended my recent presentation at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on the World War 1 Unknown Soldier, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Sentinels who stand the eternal watch over his grave in Arlington National Cemetery. Since 1775, no generation of Americans has been spared the responsibility of defending freedom by force of arms. In the history of this nation, 40 million American men and women have answered the call to duty, and more than one million have sacrificed their lives to preserve freedom.

Our country’s keeping faith with those that have fought and died to support America is both an expression of its people’s gratitude and a reminder, to all, of our duty to support our country in time of need.

Our nation is approaching the centennial anniversary of our involvement in World War I, and as Memorial Day approaches it is appropriate to remember all of those who have fallen, especially those who gave their identities when they fell.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is the one national shrine where Americans can pay their respects to unknown American warriors, who answered the call to duty and laid down their lives and identities for their fellow man. Those families whose loved ones never returned from conflict, who may be buried in unmarked graves or beneath the sea, can go to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and feel close to their fallen warrior.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier represents all sacrifices in past wars, and wars in the future.

A Soldier never dies until they are forgotten, Tomb Guards never forget.

Sergeant Major Gavin McIlvenna,

USA, Retired

The Dalles

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