"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
For each year that "SpeakOut" has existed, we've paid tribute to our fallen servicemen and women around the Memorial Day holiday.
We believe it's vitally important that our families, our communities and our nation remember those who have died on behalf of our country.
Memorial Day is a reminder that "freedom is not free"…that we cannot take our liberties, our lifestyles, our opportunities for granted.
This has been borne out by the attacks on our own soil, both recently and over the past few decades.
As you read the names here of our local fallen, please remember that they are more than just names. They are someone's husband…wife…son…daughter…parent…or friend.
This year, we're focusing on some of those who perished in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But that is not to diminish those we've lost in any other conflicts through the years.
Please remember that they volunteered to serve our country.
That they knew going in that they might not come out alive.
And yet, they signed up anyway.
And as we go about our daily lives, let us strive to work together – whatever our backgrounds, whatever our political philosophies – to make this a nation worthy of their sacrifice.
May God Bless these brave men and women, their families, and the United States of America.