EDITORIAL: Pay tribute, always

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Fittingly on the Memorial Day weekend, the Greencastle-Antrim community paid its final respects to Master Sgt. Benjamin Franklin Bitner, who was killed in the line of duty last month in Afghanistan. We also again paid tribute to all veterans. We do a fine job at it. However, our devotion to Bitner and all veterans should never be  “final”. We must make sure that it isn’t.

We have had the memorial service. We honored Bitner’s family in our parade. And Master Sgt. Bitner’s name is now engraved on the Greencastle-Antrim Veterans Memorial in front of Greencastle Borough Hall. But that is not enough.

We can never forget the sacrifice Bitner made for our country and for our freedom. Our duty as a community will be to continue to support and honor our service members and our veterans and memorialize those who paid the ultimate price. And perhaps something more difficult: to keep those still fighting for our country always in our thoughts and provide support in any way we can.

 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.”