EDITORIAL: We can never forget

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

It is with great sadness that we bring you the news this week of the death of one of Greencastle’s own in Operation Enduring Freedom. Ben Bitner was killed in the line of duty last week in Afghanistan. This is the type of news that we had hoped we would never have to publish.

For many of us, the battles that the United States is fighting are far removed from our daily lives. Except for the occasional news report we go about our business without thinking much about what our soldiers are going through or at what cost. Unlike the wars earlier in our country’s history, it doesn’t really affect our lives. Bitner’s death brings the war close to home.

The Greencastle-Antrim community has always done a fine job in honoring its veterans and those who have died in service to our country. We have special services, parades and memorials. The newest memorial in front of the Greencastle Borough Hall lists the names of all of our community’s war dead — from the Revolutionary War up to the Vietnam War. A name will now be added under the heading Operation Enduring Freedom.

Our duty as a community will be to continue to honor our veterans and to properly memorialize the latest citizen who gave his life for our country. We can never forget Ben Bitner. We can never forget all those brave soldiers who have gone before him. We must always support those who continue to defend and protect our country, as best said by President Abraham Lincoln...

“It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”