Today we are talking about a large group of people who are Making a Difference, and we just had a day to honor them, Monday of this week. Memorial Day is a time to remember our fallen veterans.
There are very large demonstrations to honor veterans on Memorial Day, like the motorcycle caravan that ends up in the National Mall in Washington DC that day. Riders come from all over the nation, starting in California and crossing America. A branch of Rolling Thunder came through Mississippi.
And there are much smaller and quieter observances, like the one that Don Hartness does ever Memorial Day and Veterans Day at the intersection of Highway 25 and Grant's Ferry Road in Rankin County.
For hours, people stand and wave the American flag, taking donations from passers by for veterans' causes.
And then there are observances with deep meaning, like the annual Veterans Day ceremony in tiny D'Lo, in Simpson County.
D'Lo isn't much bigger today, if at all, than it was at the onset of World War II. About 400 people back then, of which 150 went into service, giving D' Lo the designation of having sent more people per capita, over a quarter of its population, into the war than any other town, village or hamlet in the nation.
Of the 150 who went, only two are still living today. One of them, Joe Parker made it to the observance Monday.
"Yes sir. Everybody was ready to go. yes sir. I mean everybody was patriotic here," said Parker.
The observance at D'Lo is simple and brief. This year marked the dedication of a new bench in the park, donated by a former resident in appreciation of the men and women who left D'Lo and went to war so they could come home again to pretty much the same place they left, and not to some conquered nation.
After the national anthem, a few brief speeches and the raising of the flag back to the top of the pole from its half-staff at noon, the observance moved to the cemetery. Flags were placed on the graves of the veterans buried there, most of whom came home and quietly lived out the rest of their lives as if nothing extraordinary had ever happened.
But what they did back then made a huge difference to the rest of us, and they should be treated like heroes.
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