U.S. Army Maj. General James E. Donald saw it in the new class of Tuskegee Airmen he recently commissioned and he sees it in the men and women serving the United States in the Mideast and other parts of the world.
Donald talked about duty, honor and country and the importance of honoring those in the military at a pre-Memorial Day program in Decatur on May 24 called “Remembering Our Nation’s Veterans: A Lasting Legacy of Courage and Commitment.”
“There’s something in that word, duty, that compels us to do what is right,” said Donald, a Decatur resident retired from the U.S. Army now serving on the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. “What compels those (Tuskegee Airmen) to leave their farms in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia to serve their country? We need to instill the same thing in our sons and daughters so we can continue to live in freedom.”
Donald was the guest speaker at the program hosted by the DeKalb County Veterans Advisory Board held at the Maloof Auditorium. Several military service organizations were represented, and the event was attended by many local elected officials.
DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis and U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson voiced their appreciation to those who have served in the armed forces and each presented the Veterans Advisory Board with a proclamation.
“There will always be a void in the community when one of our soldiers does not make it home,” Ellis said. “We welcome every opportunity we have as a community to honor the sacrifice and service of our veterans.”
Donald said, “We appreciate their service and honor their sacrifice. You have to recognize that the price of freedom is high and we can’t afford to forget those who have sacrificed their lives.”