Honoring Our Heroes Shows Gratitude For Sacrifices

You might remember that I wrote about a fine you man, Marine Lance Cpl. Harry Swain IV, who was killed in Iraq. I was touched by a very well thought item he wrote for a newspaper giving his perspective about our involvement in that country. I was able to contact his father, Harry III, and get permission to write about Harry. I have a link up to a page talking about a scholarship fund established by Mr. Swaim in honor of his brave son.

Mr. Swaim emails me with items to keep me informed and it makes my day to read the stories about tributes to young Harry as well as others who have been effected by the war. The loss of a child is very difficult for a parent and I know that they find a measure of comfort in knowing that Harry IV is remembered by so many. I feel honored to be included in their lives. I received an email from Mr. Swaim today and it includes an article about a tribute to veterans.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Last year, Vietnam veteran Ben Pilla gave the N.J. Veterans Memorial Home a $15,000 donation to purchase a 45-inch LCD television and needed medical equipment for the residents.

The money came from a memorial fund established to honor his son, Dominick Pilla, an elite U.S. Army Ranger slain in a fierce firefight in Somalia in 1993. Dominick was 21.

This year, Pilla tapped the fund again to make an undisclosed donation to the scholarship set up this year to remember Marine Lance Cpl. Harry Swain IV, who died in an explosion in January while serving in Iraq. Swain, too, was 21 years old.

“It’s one fallen soldier helping another,” Ben Pilla said, standing beside the Landis Park tribute to his son.

Pilla is also contributing to the Patriot Park effort, headed by Swain’s father, Harry Swain III, and Thomas Walkup Sr., who lost his 25-year-old son, Air Force Staff Sgt. Thomas Walkup Jr., in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2003.

The money will go toward their mission to construct a memorial park dedicated to veterans, just off Riverside Drive in Millville. The Daily Journal

It is fitting that we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. It is easy in today’s world to look at our youth and wonder about our future but when we hear about people like Pilla, Swaim, and Walkup we know that America has produced another great generation and that our country remains the land of the free because it is the home of brave young people such as these.

We hear that time heals all wounds but the truth is our memories help to heal the wounds inflicted by tragedy. These folks have wonderful memories of the lives their children lived and the memories of the people who came out to honor heroes that many probably never knew.

The Earth is a sadder place because of the loss of these fine young warriors but we take comfort in knowing that they are seated at the right hand of the Father as reward for sacrificing all so that others may live a better life.

Related Article:
Park to Honor Fallen Heroes

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