05/28/13 — It matters: City could take lead in creating a Memorial Day event

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It matters: City could take lead in creating a Memorial Day event

We all probably had legitimate excuses for not attending the Memorial Day ceremony at Wayne Community College Monday.

Perhaps plans. Perhaps work. Perhaps a pre-planned trip.

And when we say "we," we mean, "we."

There were less than 100 people in attendance at the memorial to honor those who died in service to our country.

It doesn't mean we aren't patriotic or that we do not value the contributions these men and women made.

It just means we might have misplaced priorities when it comes to the weekend designated to honor them.

And we aren't alone.

Although there was good representation from the county officials -- and many state and local leaders made the journey to the college -- there was only one member of the city's leadership team in attendance.

And that is curious.

After months of fighting for an Air Force museum for the city, and spending -- and losing -- hundreds of thousands of dollars in the pursuit of that goal, few city leaders made the Memorial Day tribute, a free chance to say "thank you" and "we remember."

We aren't going to point fingers because many of us missed the ceremony when it should have been a priority.

The veterans who organized and carried out the tribute deserved more support than they received. And so, too, did the men and women they were honoring.

But this is not about that. We all have a lesson to remember for next year.

In the meantime, here's an idea: Perhaps rather than pushing for another expensive project, the city could take a leadership role in another way -- creating a Memorial Day tribute that becomes Goldsboro's calling card.

A committee could be formed, ideas sought and the veterans groups consulted. Perhaps it could be in addition to the traditional event, and perhaps it could be a whole new tribute.

Either way, it would be a chance to put our money, time and attention where our mouths are on a holiday that represents the very essence of the debt we owe the heroes who have served this country.

Certainly, the city could find some money in the budget to help make this happen. At least, this time, it would not go to waste.

We are a military town -- and we show it every day. This could be our chance to set an example for the thousands of others who might not be paying close enough attention on Memorial Day.

It is a statement worth considering.

Published in Editorials on May 28, 2013 10:57 AM