Patti Ahrberg

Cushing

To the editor:

As Memorial Day approaches and in the midst of this pandemic, I wanted to share a story about my late husband, Bill.

When Bill graduated Oklahoma A&M, now OSU, he was a Second Lieutenant in the Army infantry. Twenty-three days after graduation, he was called to the front lines in the Korean War. As Bill was getting on the plane to leave for war, his father said to him, “Son, it’s not like you think it’s going to be, don’t you let this country down!” Those were his father’s last words to him. He died while Bill was fighting in Korea. But his father’s words proved true – Bill did not let his country down, instead he fought and sacrificed for his country. For his service, he earned three Silver Stars and two Purple Hearts. Bill passed away on June 14, 2018, Flag Day.

This pandemic has been called unprecedented, and it is. It is unprecedented in that the uncertainty and new way of living are circumstances and obstacles this country has faced, we know one thing remains certain – when Americans rise up and choose to sacrifice, we can get through anything. Unprecedented looks different today than it did then. Then, it looked like sending most of our young men off to a foreign country to perhaps die in a massive worldwide war. At home, it looked like doing without things like gasoline, tires and shoes and having to use ration stamps for necessities. Today, it looks like people getting sick, uncertain economic times, missing loved ones and face masks.

One thing is for sure, “it’s not like you think it’s going to be.” But the United States of America is a great country, and just like Bill, there are countless Americans who will not let their country down. That starts with sacrifice. On this Memorial Day, ask yourself this, “What can I do to make things better?” Then do it! Freedom is never free, just ask a veteran.

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