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Veterans need assistance to continue tradition of service

As the calendar turns to a new month and military veterans soonwill be honored on their special day Nov. 11, Mississippi and therest of the country are confronted with the reality that animportant group within that accomplished assemblage is quicklyleaving us.

We’re talking of course about members of “The GreatestGeneration,” those who took on and defeated Japan and Nazi Germanyduring World War II. Now, more than 60 years after the end of thatmajor conflict, statistics indicate that 1,000 World War IIveterans a day are dying.

This represents a significant loss not only because of theircollective wisdom, but also for veterans’ service organizationslike Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.

Those groups, which have been strong advocates for veterancauses, are seeing their ranks dwindle due to the older veterans’deaths and the lack of involvement – for whatever reasons – byveterans from more recent conflicts like Korea, Vietnam and thePersian Gulf. Making the issue more challenging is the fact thereis a “donut hole,” if you will, in the 15 or so years between theend of Vietnam and the first Persian Gulf war that produced no warvets from which some organizations could draw members.

Here in Brookhaven we have the Military Memorial Museum builtand managed by our local veterans. We wonder who will pick up theflag when those local volunteers are no longer able to do so.