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American patriotism displayed

Any doubt about the high level of American Patriotism that exists in Morgan County and surrounding areas was dispelled Saturday morning by an estimated 200 people who came to the Purple Heart Monument in Sparkman Park to honor fallen soldiers as well as those who have spilt blood in defense of their country.

Sponsored by the Finis J. Self Chapter 2212 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the ceremony was well planned and conducted with awe-inspiring dignity and respect. One couldn’t help from being emotionally touched by the presence of the Freedom Riders. They arrived on motorcycles after traveling as far as 200 miles and stood at attention, holding American flags, throughout the hour-long program.

The monument itself was also a thing of beauty. Its stones were replaced earlier this year to make room for more names of Purple Heart recipients. Purple impatiens form a large heart in front of the stones, and they are surrounded by a field of white impatiens. Flags on the backside fly against the green background of a grove of pine trees and a “Veterans Walk,” featuring engraved bricks donated in memory of and in honor of veterans, encircles the monument.

Memories of those either killed or injured in battle held the audience spellbound as readers announced the names of the 130 Purple Heart recipients inscribed on the stones and a bell was sounded after each name.

How fortunate we are as Americans to have military heroes who are willing to put their lives in harm’s way to protect our way of life, and how appropriate it is for us to pause from item to time to recognize and honor them for their service.

We are also reminded of what an asset it is for our community to have a Purple Heart monument. Thank you members of the Finis J. Self Chapter of the Order of the Purple Heart.