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Memorial Day is a time to say thanks

Editor's View
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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The nation pays tribute to its military heroes this Monday, May 31. For some, the Memorial Day holiday is a time to usher in the summer season with picnics, barbecues and other family and recreational activities. Others make trips to cemeteries to remember loved ones. In cities such as Auburn and Colfax, parades are held and observances to fallen heroes and veterans are held at cemeteries. For the last decade, the Loomis Basin community has begun its Memorial Day with a celebration at Del Oro High School. Whatever you’re planning this holiday weekend, set aside a half-hour or so and join your friends and neighbors at 9 a.m. at Del Oro to show your thanks for those who served. John A. Stacker American Legion Post 775 members participate in the Memorial Day Celebration at Del Oro every year. This local group of veterans served their country with pride. Gary Sypnicki said Memorial Day is a special time for him. Even though he was wounded during the Vietnam War and was awarded a Purple Heart, on that day he remembers the men and women who made so many sacrifices for this country. “Those sacrifices,” he said, included “being away from home for long periods of time and the conditions they had to live in and go through.” Even today, said Dave Lucey, our troops continue to make sacrifices for their country. “They are being uprooted from their jobs as reservists to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, some for multiple tours,” Lucey said. Through the American Legion, Lucey said, he has met many Japanese Americans who served in World War II, had their families taken to internment camps, and would have lost their farms if not for the kindness of neighbors and Good Samaritans. “I see them every year, the ones who are still surviving, at the Del Oro memorial,’ he said. It is then, Lucey said, that he is reminded these Japanese American soldiers have never expressed hard feelings to him about the treatment they endured during the war and is impressed by “the way they have made lives for themselves since then.” Tom Ward said he is proud to take part in Memorial Day observances. “Any time a ceremony is held that honors the flag of the United States of America, I am proud to witness it and am honored to take part,” Ward said. Memorial Day is a reminder, he said, that “freedom is not free” and people have to be willing to fight for the freedoms people “like me and my comrades fought to preserve.” On Memorial Day, said Russ Kelley, we should remember the men and women who gave their lives for America. “We should never sacrifice America for anything less than what they died for,” Kelley said. “Thank a veteran,” he said, but, most of all, “thank the military who are