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Speakers urge crowds to remember the fallen, be grateful

Hubbard (click for larger version)
May 30, 2012 - Remembrance and gratitude were at the heart of the keynote speeches delivered at the Memorial Day observances in Oxford and Addison townships.

"On this day, Americans are commemorating those who made the greatest sacrifice – giving one's own life on behalf of others," said Jim Hubbard, 65, a Vietnam war hero and commander of North Oakland VFW Post 334. "It is the duty of each and every veteran to relay (this) message (to the general public and future generations) because sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance."

Hubbard, who received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters and Silver Star for his courage under fire and saving his comrades' lives, was the guest speaker at Saturday's ceremony in Lakeville Cemetery.

Over in downtown Oxford, the guest speaker was Oakland County Commissioner Beth Nuccio (R-Brandon). She echoed many of the same sentiments as Hubbard.

"As a proud American, I stand before you to express my gratitude for the legacy of the countless brave military men and women of the past and present," Nuccio said. "I stand (here) as a beneficiary of their service."

"It is with great honor and a joyful heart that I recognize those who dedicated their lives to preserve the freedoms of our country," she continued. "Their sacrifices throughout the course of our history, in many military conflicts and wars, have laid the foundation upon which we all stand."

Hubbard, who served in the U.S. Army from 1966-68,was concerned that too many folks these days do not take the time to properly celebrate Memorial Day.

"Do most non-veterans really recognize the importance of honoring the day (set aside for remembering) fellow Americans (who) were killed in war?" For some people, it's simple another day off work," he said.

To Hubbard, that's unacceptable. "A reminder is definitely due," he said. "America's collective consciousness demands that all civilians recall and be aware of their fallen countrymen."

"This is a national debt that can only be truly repaid by individual Americans," Hubbard noted. "By honoring the nation's war dead, we preserve their memory and thus their service and sacrifice."

"On this Memorial Day, we are so fortunate to have (the) freedom to celebrate our war heroes and we must always remember the sacrifices and the high cost they paid," Nuccio said. "This Memorial Day, let us celebrate and demonstrate our appreciation for our nation's heroes. Let us salute their patriotism and legacy on this special day."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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