Sacrifice deserves honor

Next Monday, people across the country will commemorate Memorial Day.

For some, that simply means a day off from work and maybe a barbeque. For others, however, this day strikes a special cord on their heartstrings because, for the first time in almost a year, they will celebrate a holiday with their loved ones.

Members of the 131st armor division of the Army National Guard returned from Iraq earlier this month. The 48 soldiers were based out of Calera when they left on their mission in July.

The soldiers had to go through a debriefing process, but will celebrate being back in Calera this weekend.

Numerous family members and friends plan to gather to honor eight of those men and women who live and work in Calera.

These men and women gave up everything in their daily civilian lives &8212; careers, time spent with family and hobbies &8212; to protect the lives of all of us.

Family members like Barbara Smith became single parents overnight when their husbands and wives shipped off on duty. Soldier Patrick Enoch put off going to college and pursuing a career so that he could serve his country.

Each of these soldiers deserve our respect and, even though they would probably never ask for it, our thanks.

The celebration for the 131st armor division is planned for 6 p.m. Saturday, May 24 at the Calera Armory.

There will be food and a band for entertainment as well as a chance to meet the brave men and women who just returned home. This is the community&8217;s chance to show support for those that sacrifice everything for us

to live in a safe and secure country.

Money raised from the event will benefit families of these soldiers.