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posted: 5/25/2014 5:01 AM

Memorial Day should focus on veterans

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Today our veterans are faced with many obstacles. They stand in line waiting for proper medical care. Some, sadly, have died while waiting. Just yesterday I spoke with a veteran whose claim has grown moss on its back while waiting for a judgment.

Then we have the longest-held American POW that we know, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured in June 2009. We pray with his family that he too will be released. I for one did return to Vietnam and walked those battle sites and villages that we all walked as young 19-year-old Marines. The villagers of today and the many old-timers remembered us and thanked us.

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Yet as we speak Mr. Bruce Rauner is sharpening his handshake skills for the Arlington Heights parade that he's been invited to march in. Mr. Rauner never served. Yet again he's been placed on some pedestal because he has money to throw away and buy the campaign for the governor's seat. The key question when he comes up to you should be: Where have you been, Mr. Rauner?

Memorial Day is special, and we need to pause and remember why we march. The media has taken over this day and run with it ever since we can recall. Some even use the term have a "Happy Memorial Day."

I for one will be cleaning off veterans' graves. One belongs to my good friend, Pfc. Bill Dorman, Silver Star, Vietnam War 82nd Airborne, who served in Vietnam, came home, was married and raised his family -- then contracted cancer and passed away.

This year, don't let a few move you to the left or right. Stay steady and focused. Remember, Memorial Day is for those we lost in all wars. Let's also remember those who also remain missing in action.

Gene Spanos

Park Ridge

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