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Some gave all

As I sit here working on Memorial Day and writing a column for this week’s edition, it just seems fitting to include words of thanks for all those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country and our freedom. In fact, if not for the blood that was shed by the soldiers we might not even be able to live in the country that we call home. From battles fought during the Revolutionary War until the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers have fought bravely to ensure that the citizens of the United States may continue to live in the land of liberty.

During a church service Sunday at West Hartselle Baptist Church, the congregation remembered those veterans who were either killed or went missing in action (MIA) from Hartselle, during periods of war. My family and I were invited to attend this service since my wife Lynn’s Uncle, Hal Roberts, was listed as MIA, while flying fuel over “The Hump” in WWII, and was later pronounced dead. Hal, along with others were honored for their service to their country. The service was very meaningful in honoring the memory of those brave soldiers.

Soldiers were named along with information about their military service, how they died, or what was happening when they became MIA, if it was available. All of the soldiers died bravely serving their country. Two of the young men who lost their lives were Hubert Betterton and George Duncan McCall. It seems that both of these young men might have survived but they unselfishly chose to help others who were in need and in doing so lost their own lives.

Betterton’s plane was shot down during a bombing raid in Holland. While the plane was going down the men onboard were trying to bail out. He already had his parachute on but gave it to a fellow soldier who did not have one and found another. Apparently Betterton’s parachute did not open when they jumped from the low- flying plane. When Hubert Betterton’s friend woke from the jump he found Betterton dead beside him.

George Duncan McCall was serving aboard a Merchant Marine ship that was torpedoed by the Germans in 1943. The ship did not sink immediately and those aboard were able to begin boarding life boats. McCall was already safely onboard a life boat when he gave up his seat to refugees who were on the ship. He was never seen again.

“Greater love has no one that this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” John 15:13(NKJV)

Let us honor all who have served our country and those who continue to do so.

Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.