Honor their memory

Published Aug 8, 2018 at 4:00pm

We spotted this poignant editorial today as we were reviewing stories in other newspapers. It’s dated Aug. 4 and was published by the Muskogee Phoenix newspaper in Oklahoma. We thought Daily Sentinel readers would appreciate it:

Seaman First Class Eugene Wicker finally made it home Saturday.

Wicker was among 429 who died aboard the USS Oklahoma during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

He was on duty in the radio room when torpedoes capsized the Oklahoma.

His body was recovered but not identified. More than seven decades passed before DNA testing was used to identify his remains.

Wicker was laid to rest Saturday with military honors at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery — just down the road from his native Coweta.

Wicker gave the ultimate sacrifice in service of his country.

That makes him an American hero.

He was willing to risk — and ultimately give — his life defending this nation’s ideals.

His sacrifice was one of too many that December day and the many days that followed when the United States entered World War II.

Wicker’s funeral is a reminder of the thousands of military service members who have died or were willing to die in the name of their country.

We as a nation can’t possibly show enough gratitude to surviving family members and loved ones of our fallen service members.

We can’t do enough for those who have served our country and return home.

It should give us pause. We should focus on the inner strength of those who defend our country.

It takes a special person to give that much.

We should strive to embrace each other and help each other because that’s how our nation survived bad times such as WWII.

Working on becoming a better person and a better nation is a proper way to honor the sacrifice of those like Seaman First Class Eugene Wicker.