Editorial: Memorial Day - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Editorial: Memorial Day

The following is an editorial from FOX6 WBRC-TV General Manager Lou Kirchen, first aired on Thursday, May 29, 2014.

As the mother of a career soldier, Memorial Day has always been a special holiday for me and my family. We are very proud of our son and his commitment to the safety and security of our country.

This year was especially memorable. We spent the day with our son, his wife, Twylla, who is a veteran, our grandchildren, and a remarkable World War II veteran.

Our daughter-in-law, Twylla who heads the occupational therapy department at the North Carolina State Veterans Home in Fayetteville, North Carolina, invited us to help celebrate the 91st birthday of Mr. Raymond Blythe who is one of the facility's residents. Mr. Blythe, who was staff sergeant in the Army Air Corp, fought in the South Pacific in World War II. This American hero is an extraordinary man, who, after serving our country, built his own telecommunications company. He invented the bundled telephone cable lines that you see running between telephone poles.

As a retiree and resident at the Veterans home, he would look into the backyard at the facility, where there was just grass and concrete and yearn for a garden where flowers and vegetables could grow and be enjoyed by all of the residents and their families. Well, his dream became a reality. Using his gardening expertise and the help of Twylla, and the residents and staff of the Home, that garden, complete with a gazebo, became a reality.

On Memorial Day, I not only had the privilege of meeting this remarkable man, but also of seeing his garden and the fruits of his labor. Twylla, his therapist, but more importantly his friend, would want you to remember that while these remarkable people are still with us, these folks who are so often overlooked, listen and learn from them. They have so much wisdom and experience to offer.

God bless Mr. Blythe and all of those who so bravely serve and have served our country.

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