Monday, November 10, 2008

A tribute to U.S.Veterans

A tribute to U.S.Veterans

By Aimee Staten
Managing Editor
Published on Sunday, November 9, 2008 6:03 PM MST

Most of the time, the crowd consists of two or three to greet war-weary soldiers when they arrives home. There’s no roar, no ticker tape and no flags waving.

It’s the same when they leave; they set their faces grimly to the east as their families watch tearfully from the dock, the terminal, the military base. . . The scene is familiar, yet raw, painful and new every time a loved one leaves for parts unknown to fight a war that is sometimes understandable, sometimes not.

The Gila Valley has a chance to honor those veterans Tuesday at the Veterans Day service Nov. 11, 11 a.m., in front of the Graham County Courthouse. After the service, Post 95 American Legion and Auxiliary will host a luncheon at the post in Solomon.

The area has a rich heritage of veterans who have fought in wars from the Civil War, World War I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, the Iraq War and others. Each of these men and women who traveled to foreign soil or at home, whether a pilot, a foot soldier, a medic or a sailor, fought to retain the freedoms that people enjoy today.

Some wars were popular and well-supported by those who remained behind. Other wars were bitterly opposed, and the soldiers who returned were sadly misunderstood, but they were there. They fought. They bled.

We honor every soldier who has ever fought for the United States of America. We know that the hard work and loneliness that people suffered at home paled compared to the horror and isolation of those who engaged in the mortal struggle of battle.

We salute our soldiers, pilots and sailors, their families and the United States of America.

This place is very special to me, my grandfather Joshua Eaton Bailey started the town of Safford in 1874 and then established a stagecoach stop at Baileys Wells about 20 miles south of Safford in the 1880s. He has been called the "Father of Safford" he was responsible for the construction of the Sunflower Canals, the first irrigation system in the southwest in order to create farms.

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