Keep soldiers’ memories strong

Published 11:18 am Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Although Kathy Strong was only 12 when she received a Vietnam War MIA bracelet bearing the name James L. Moreland, her dedication to Moreland’s memory revealed a depth of maturity not commonly seen in one so young.

Moreland, who went missing in action in February 1968 in Vietnam, is finally coming home, as his remains will be buried with full military honors in Ashby Cemetery in Brierfield May 14. He will be buried with his parents.

Ever since Strong received the MIA bracelet with Moreland’s name on it in 1973, she has worn it, following the bracelet’s instructions: “Put it on and wear it until he comes home.”

As she should be, Strong will be part of Moreland’s funeral services. She will present the bracelet she has worn for all these years to Moreland’s family, and the bracelet will be buried with him as a symbol of devotion — in the same way Moreland was devoted to his country as a Green Beret, Strong was devoted to Moreland’s memory.

Her story can serve as a reminder to all of us to remember the brave men and women who spend their time willingly putting themselves in danger to keep us all safe. Soldiers continue to make the same sacrifice James Moreland did in giving his life for his country 43 years ago. They all deserve for us to keep their memories alive.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.