Monday, May 26, 2003

Tristate remembers fallen heroes

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Americans will parade down city streets, pray at military monuments and gather at neighborhood parks today in celebration of Memorial Day.


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In the Tristate, they will pause to remember Army Pfc. Marlin T. Rockhold of Hamilton who was felled by a sniper in Iraq.

But they will also celebrate the recovery of Florence, Ky., native Air Force Capt. Mark Wisher, who was wounded in a grenade attack blamed on a disgruntled American serviceman. Cheered and humbled by an outpouring of cards from children as he fought for his life in a military hospital overseas, Wisher and his wife have toured Northern Kentucky schools to say thank you.

And scores of local families will celebrate the service of their sons, daughters, husbands and wives. They include the Montgomery family of Army Reserve Medic Holly Bebout, whose letters from a Mideast desert describe the hellish conditions but the continued high spirits of American troops.

Church choirs will sing, Boy Scouts will salute the flag and the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra will perform in Eden Park. One thousand American flags will be handed out to folks at the Taste of Cincinnati when country music star Darryl Worley sings "Have You Forgotten?" and police honor guards will offer 21-gun salutes.

And scores of Cincinnatians will gather at American Legion Post events and cemeteries.

Not since Desert Storm a decade ago has America been more aware of the price of patriotism.

For at least one speaker, the Memorial Day message is simple.

Retired Army Reserve Col. William Deupree III will tell those gathering at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell today:

"Anybody who is willing to put on a uniform is a hero.

"Anybody who is willing to serve his country is a hero."

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