Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, is an important day of remembrance for our country and community. Established to commemorate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives, it is a continuing legacy of what is great about our country. It is important for us as Americans to remember those who provided us with liberty and justice.

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, is an important day of remembrance for our country and community. Established to commemorate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives, it is a continuing legacy of what is great about our country. It is important for us as Americans to remember those who provided us with liberty and justice.

For 25 years, I served in the U.S. Army. I fought a war in Vietnam. I lived north of the Arctic Circle for a year. I stood in the Fulda Gap in West Germany, planning my defensive strategy should the USSR decide to expand into western Europe.

While each of these missions had challenges, no mission I was given in the service was more difficult than survivor notification, notifying next of kin that a husband, wife, son, daughter, brother or sister had died while wearing the uniform of a military service. Nor did any other mission evoke my gratitude, my sense of pride in my country and her citizenry or my esprit than survivor notification. I made more than 20 calls on next of kin during my tour of duty, and I can still remember each one as if it were yesterday while other missions are fading from my memory.

Why? Because those 20 individuals gave their all. Whether their fall was because of an enemy or a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, each and every one of them knew the risks and willingly offered his or her very being to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, our freedom, our way of life and fellow soldiers. They deserve my respect and gratitude.

In Dublin Cemetery lie 264 veterans. The earliest is from the Revolutionary War, the latest from the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They, too, deserve our respect and gratitude, as do all veterans.

On Monday, May 30, we will honor all those veterans who died in the service of their country, including three young men (1st Lt. Jim Carr, 1st Lt. Lawrence Strayer and Spc. Norman Tarpley), graduates of Dublin High School who died in Vietnam. We also honor those brave men and women currently serving the cause of freedom in the armed forces. I encourage all citizens of Dublin to join me in this commemoration. Come out and offer your respect by honoring these brave fighters who gave their all so that we might continue to pursue happiness in this land of liberty lest we forget.

Jeffrey D. Noble is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and commander of the Wesley G. Davids Post 800 Dublin American Legion.