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EDITORIAL: Their country is worth their service

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The Times and Democrat’s second “Stories of Honor” series concludes Sunday with a special section bringing together the stories of 12 veterans having served our country in the Armed Forces. The series began in May, with each Sunday’s Magazine through July 12 featuring an honoree.

The honorees were selected from nominations by T&D readers. As with the inaugural series in 2019 and the 2015 “Vietnam: They Served With Honor” series, people reached out to tell us about good subjects for our stories. And the stories of people having served this country have been popular in print and online. We’ve gotten lots of feedback.

At a time when some are questioning the fabric of the nation, those having served to protect and defend it stand as examples of why America is great and still the envy of the world. In honor of those about which you can read in today’s special section, the honorees from 2019, those in the Vietnam series, and all having served, we offer the words of Paulette S. Evans, Vance native, author and former teacher now residing in Sumter. They are titled “Freedom: To protect, honor and serve”:

“The original Declaration of Independence was signed by a group of men who were willing to put their names and reputations on the line for a new country. Now, over 200 years later, we’re putting our reputation as a country on the line every day as we endeavor to protect this country from unseen and visible enemies.

:The invisible enemy of freedom is fear brought on by angry and disruptive choices made by those who do not understand the consequences of decisions made in emotional haste. Emotional stress has been the catalyst of fear. Let’s reverse it by using the following:

• “Protect this country’s freedom by using the faith given to us by the Lord. He wants us to enjoy the resources of this country and world. Let’s keep the environment clean and teach our children to appreciate and respect the heritage created by our forefathers.

• “Honor our American heritage by commemorating the many who fought for our freedom. Their courage and loyalty to the principles outlined for a successful life in the new country created the cornerstone for finding our ‘life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.’

• “Serve each other with kindness, compassion, thoughtfulness and respect. Use your talents to make someone’s life better. Service is its own reward as smiles of gratitude appear.

“If you wonder what it means to be an American, think about that famous document signed by a group of risk takers on July 4, 1776. I believe it was worth it. Do you?”

Take time Sunday to review the “Stories of Honor” special section. You’ll see there are people believing then and believing now that the country was and is worth their service and sacrifice.

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