EDITOR:On Memorial Day, we remember those who gave their life for our freedom.
The U.P. Veterans Memorial seems a fitting tribute to all U.S. Military veterans. This would be a noble and descent gesture if there were some distinction between those who gave all, and those who served.
Some of our soldiers performed heroically above and beyond the call of duty, some suffered wounds during hostile fire. It seems that this memorial was built with the idea of serving our current VFW members rather than to honor our heroes.
Any veteran can pay to have his name, rank and service info placed on a stone at the base of the monument.
I served honorably in the U.S. Army for 23 years, during hostile actions in Vietnam, Panama and the Persian Gulf, and I am a combat veteran, but I don't think that my name should be remembered along side of the real heroes of our wars.
Our real heroes are the soldiers that were not able to return to their lives; the fallen soldiers who gave their lives defending America, and those who have been blinded, burned, and scarred and have spent years in rehab centers so that they could return to some semblance of normal life.
I found no distinction at the U.P. Memorial between our real heroes and the vets like myself that have survived unscathed.
I find it appalling that some of the U.P.s heroes of war are not recognized for their service and sacrifice because no one has come forth to purchase a stone in their memory.
There should be an area reserved for the names of soldiers killed in action and the posting of these names should be done by the local VFW.
There should also be an area where we can honor the names of the veterans that distinguished themselves in combat. We claim to honor our heroes, let's honor our heroes and remember some gave all.
James D. Augustine
El Paso, Texas