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Remembering the fallen

The blue skies and warm temperatures brought good barbecuing weather Monday, complimented by store sales, open pools and shady spots for fishing.

It’s important to remember that the purpose of Memorial Day was not getting out of the confines of an office or work environment one day for fun and leisure.

The holiday allows us to take time to reflect and honor the brave men and women who died for our nation, liberties, rights and freedoms.

Marie Sweeney said it best during a Memorial Day program held Monday at the VFW Hall in Buckingham.

“Freedom is not free,” she said before detailing the service of 15 medics who served in the Vietnam War who received Congressional Medals of Honor.

Seven of the 15, Sweeney said, died in action, and received the award posthumously.

Since and during the time America was founded, men and women have fought bravely in defense of the U.S. and our freedoms that we enjoy every day.

During Memorial Day programs across The Heart of Virginia, the fallen were honored, many of whom risked their lives to save others they were fighting with during wars and conflicts in defense of our nation.

During the program in Buckingham, Sweeney offered examples of the bravery and heroism that’s kept us safe from the dangers of tyranny and the destruction of liberty.

Medics dodged bullets, used their bodies to shield gunfire, neglected their wounds to get aid to others and threw their bodies atop grenades for our nation.

May the actions and lives of those who’ve fallen inspire us to continue to protect our rights, liberties and freedoms as Americans in our communities — acting locally while thinking globally — to ensure the future of democracy and free will in the U.S.