Our View | Memorial Day: ‘Remember the sacrifices’

Today in cemeteries across the county, at parks and in backyards, and on the historic fields and streets of Boalsburg, we remember those who have served.

Our region received a powerful reminder of the ongoing realities of war when State College Area High School graduate Adam Hartswick lost his legs to a bomb blast May 14 in Afghanistan. We pray for healing and strength for Adam and his family.

And we pay tribute to the many who served their country through the years, many of whom did not come home.

Joe Horvath is the museum educator at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg, where events throughout this weekend honor generations of individuals who have served and died.

“It’s important for people to remember the sacrifices made on their behalf and on behalf of all Americans,” Horvath said during a World War II re-enactment in Boalsburg last May.

He said: “If we don’t put on an event like this, people are going to forget.”

We will remember today as words are spoken and taps played near the graves of local veterans.

We will remember at gatherings of families, many of which have given much to the defense of the nation through the years.

We will remember with the traditions of Boalsburg, where representatives of Girl Scout Troop 1184 will re-create the moment in 1864 when Emma Hunter, Elizabeth Myers and Sophie Keller placed flowers on the graves of their loved ones who had died in the Civil War.

Planning has begun for the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day in Boalsburg, which promises to be a grand event in 2014.

And this summer brings the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, where a young soldier named Amos Myers was killed on the last day of fighting. His mother, Elizabeth, joined two friends in a graveside remembrance to Amos and Dr. Reuben Hunter, a Boalsburg doctor who died of yellow fever contracted while helping soldiers wounded in battle.

The three women pledged that day that they would return to the cemetery each year to pay tribute to all who died in the Civil War.

Today we follow their lead, remembering those whose sacrifice built this nation, and those whose selfless service continues to protect and preserve our ideals and our freedom.