Put down the BBQ and thank a veteran

Published 10:00am Sunday, May 26, 2013

It is fitting that beloved Wetumpka icon Jack DeVenney will be laid to rest on Memorial Day weekend.
One of DeVenney’s favorite missions in his later life was to identify Wetumpka and Elmore County residents who had risked it all for our country and to make certain they knew of their neighbors’ gratitude.
He identified hundreds of local veterans of the nation’s wars, from the American Revolution to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were each identified, with the conflict in which they fought, their rank and branch of service in a book he called “Elmore County Veterans.”
DeVenney was in the midst of compiling a third volume of the book when he passed away Tuesday morning.
Mr. Jack knew the horrors of war, serving on a warship in the bloody Pacific Theatre during World War II.
Unfortunately, the ranks of those remembered on Memorial Day continue to grow as those still around for honors on Veterans Day seem fewer and fewer.
Our county’s living warriors from World War II grow more scarce, and the veterans of the hot conflicts of the Cold War, like the Korean and Vietnam conflicts are not far behind.
Too often we as Americans forget that Memorial Day is not simply the opening ceremonies of a hot, fun summer. It ought also be marked with solemn reverence for those through the generations who make our freedom and fun possible.
So this weekend, try to attend one of the local observances in area cities and towns. If there’s a veteran in your family or circle of friends, put down the barbecue and give them a call. They’ve earned it by risking it all to preserve the liberty we enjoy every day.

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