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Serve with a salute

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Have you ever wanted to meet a true American hero? You can do so on Saturday, June 8, in New Castle, where we are honoring WWII Veterans at the New Castle Spring Fling event.  You don’t have to travel 700 miles to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans to find them. And you don’t have to go 600 miles to the National World War II Memorial in Washington DC.   These veterans are right here in our community and are now well into their 80s with most in their 90s.  Our Nation is losing WWII Veterans at an alarming rate, 800 to 1,000 per day.  Within five years most will be gone.

Mention the word “hero” to a World War II veteran and they scoff at that, saying they were only doing their job. Brad Bowman of the Henry County Local said it best last week when he said the veterans expected no salute of gratitude or a thank you.

This Saturday, we have an opportunity, maybe only one, to say thank you for a job well done. At 11 a.m., several World War II veterans will be in the New Castle Spring Fling parade.  If you only have time to do one thing this week, take 30 minutes and come to New Castle and salute these American heroes. Better yet, at 1 p.m. you can thank them in person during a meet and greet at the Heritage Building at 137 S. Main.

Many of these veterans have stories that would match those found in the HBO mini-series, “Band of Brothers.” Some of them will tell you about them, others may not. In the last episode of “Band of Brothers,” Dick Winters said his grandson asked him if he was a hero in the war. Mr. Winters said no, but he served in a company of heroes.

On Saturday, let’s give our local heroes the recognition they deserve while there is still time to do so.

                          Thank you,

                              Jeff Thoke

New Castle Main Street Manager