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While reading The Arizona Republic on Sunday morning, May 22, I noticed for the first time a section dedicated to fallen soldiers.

I’m a weekend reader of the statewide newspaper, but did not notice the listings until just before Memorial Day.

Titled “Military Deaths,” the newspaper lists the names, ranks, ages, hometowns and details of the soldiers’ deaths, including date, location and mission.

None of the soldiers were from the Verde Valley, thank goodness, and none were from Arizona either.

Regardless of where these men and women called home, I felt overwhelmed with emotion thinking about a 30-year-old man and a 23-year-old man dying overseas so I can sit on my back patio and enjoy my morning coffee.

They gave their lives for our freedom, and reminders, such as the listing in the Republic, are important.

Without reminders, it’s easy for some to forget our brothers, sisters and neighbors gave their lives so ours can remain stable and normal.

Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, is a reminder each year of all those who fought and died in the name of the United States ever since the country’s founding.

Our forefathers fought the English for freedom from the rule of the crown.

Later, our men and women went to war on foreign soil to protect us and citizens of other countries.

Today, Americans continue to fight to defend our country and help others regain stability.

Supporting our troops and honoring the fallen shouldn’t be political.

Soldiers don’t ask questions.

They do as they are told by their commanding officers and always respect their superiors.

They fight selflessly with more at stake than anyone in Washington, D.C., or sitting at home — their life.

For that, I am thankful each and every day.

I respect what those men and women do, because most of us couldn’t walk in their combat boots and won’t ever understand how they do.

This weekend, take a moment to think of those who have died for our country, regardless of your political beliefs or stance on war.

Remember soldiers are the heroes we read about in fairy tales when we are children.


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