MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

April 20, 2012

Respect honors soldier, country

Many of those lining Main and Okmulgee on Friday morning may not have known Spc. James E. Dutton.

Many only knew that Dutton died in the service of their country.

Many only knew that Dutton was one of us — a 25-year-old man from Checotah who died March 31 in Logar province in Afghanistan.

And that is what made the tribute to Dutton even more special.

Dutton was welcomed home by those grateful to him for his service and dedication and his ultimate sacrifice.

Employees of the VA Regional Office waved United States flags as the processional moved slowly down Okmulgee toward Bradley Funeral Service.

Citizens and employees also gathered outside city hall.

Those who took the time to honor a fallen soldier honored Dutton and their country.

They also represented what is best about a community our size.

You may not know your neighbor, but you know he is your neighbor.

You may not know him personally, but you know he died in the service of your country.

All politics aside, those who chose to serve deserve the thanks of a grateful nation.

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