Emotions ran high and actions of support were readily visible when the United States went to war against terrorism in general and Iraq specifically. Flags flew from many poles and porches around town, and prayers were frequent in churches, meetings, and at dinner tables.
As the war wore on, it became less prominent in news reports and in the minds of many citizens. Unlike the World Wars, but similar to the Vietnam War, the voice of dissension grew louder and signs of support disappeared.
Some flags were gone from their poles within weeks of the killing of those persons aboard four airplanes, at the World Trade Center, and at the Pentagon.
No matter how you feel about U.S. involvement in the war on terrorism, lives have been lost and families torn apart, our peace and safety have been seriously compromised, and young men and women have left their life paths of choice to answer the call of their president and serve their country. These people deserve our wholehearted and continuous support.
This Thursday, April 22, the Payson Town Council will accept a proclamation to officially make May the month to remember to support our troops around the world and their families at home. A banner denoting the five branches of military service will be presented and put on display in a weatherproof case at Town Hall. Letters of support from Congressmen J.D. Hayworth and Rick Renzi will be read.
KMOG 1420 AM radio will present a special Rim Country Forum on Friday, April 23, with guests representing a grassroots group of concerned citizens that will include Mary Goddard, whose son has served in the Middle East and may return there for another tour; Jay Hopkins, who teaches fighter pilots to return safely and has family in the Middle East; and possibly a caller from Camp Pendleton, Calif. They will discuss how we can continuously remind ourselves of what our troops are doing, and how we can remember to support them.
Tune in, then fly your flag, write letters, send Care Packages, pray, and share your ideas with the rest of the community. Make May a month to remember, both here and abroad.
Help our service personnel across the globe know they are remembered and appreciated. Help them have the desire to fulfill the task they have been assigned. Help them feel a little less far away and separated from their fellow Americans. Help them know they can return proudly and triumphantly.