Memorial Day

By Junior Johnson

Ironically in a time when Confederate monuments are being removed around the Country, people are preparing to celebrate Memorial Day. A day that we honor fallen veterans of ALL WARS.

In 1868 the very first observed Memorial Day took place. This was done by a proclamation by General John Logan. He served in the Mexican-American War and later with the Union Army.

This Memorial Day was to celebrate the sacrifices of Civil War Veterans, both Union and Confederate. More than 20,000 graves from both sides were decorated in their honor.

Over the years this special day honored all who died in American Wars, as well as veterans who served and are currently serving in the military.

I pray that there will come a time when we will not have to bury fallen heroes who gave their lives to protect us.

Many years ago I had the honor of visiting Arlington National Cemetery. Looking out over that sea of white crosses was a very somber and humbling experience for me.

Our Country has had some of its finest men and women shed their blood and lose their lives on foreign soil. They made the ultimate sacrifice to make our world a safer place to live in.

My Father, Harvis Johnson Sr., proudly served under General Patton during World War II. He was a young and innocent boy when he finished his training in Biloxi, Mississippi and traveled overseas to serve his Country.

Although his life was spared in that terrible War, he carried its memories the rest of his life.

I never served in the military, but had several of my high school classmates who did. Pictured at the top of this column is my dear friend Billy Spillman relaxing between combat missions while serving in Vietnam. Pictured at the bottom is my father Harvis Johnson Sr.

I make it a point to shake the hand of a person in uniform when I can and I encourage you to do the same. It means a lot to them to know that we care.

Give thanks to all who died and served our Country on their special day. We would not be able to enjoy the freedom that we have today where it not for their unselfish sacrifices.