Evansville Firefighter, Mike Loveless, and Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke applaud Tracie Stafford’s second grade class after attaching the flag to the station’s new flagpole donated to them by the class on Wednesday, May 12, 2014, in Evansville, Ind. Evansville Fire Station 8 adopted the class this year and has help to teach the students about the role they play in the local government and community. In return the students had a penny drive to raise funds to buy the station a flagpole. (AP Photo/The Evansville Courier & Press, Erin McCracken)

This is a reminder that May 26 is the day set aside to honor American men and women who died in combat protecting our freedoms and way of life. These heroes went away from their hometowns around the United States to complete special training, took on a different way of life, then engaged in combat in strange lands. All the while we continued a safe, protected everyday lifestyle, while thousands defended America. They are gone but should never be forgotten. And to the families, friends and all citizens we can truly take time out to purchase an American flag or bring out the one you have and display it at your residence. Wouldn’t it be a proud day in our cities if at least 1,000 flags could be seen waving in the wind on this special day in honor of these true heroes. By the way: Because of them, you are able to read this letter in English.

As such, please show your patriotism with the memory of hundreds of our fellow Americans — who said goodbye to their families and friends but never returned — by simply flying our beautiful American flag. What a small way to show our gratefulness for such a large sacrifice — to lay down your life for others.

Larry Guidry

U.S. Air Force retired