Memorial Day is a time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Across this great land there will be barbecues, memorial services, family gatherings and pool parties celebrating the day. For many it will be the official start of summer but we must never forget the real reason for the day. Without the sacrifice of so many the rest of us would not have the freedoms we enjoy today. We owe them a lot.
The Citizens of Kern County, California takes great pride in what they do to celebrate Memorial Day. Dick Taylor, the county veterans service officer at the Kern County Veterans Service Department wrote a compelling opinion piece about Memorial Day that appeared in the website Bakersfield.com Community Voices section titled In war, it is always the young who take the brunt of combat casualties.
Taylor’s piece talked about Memorial Day in Bakersfield with an emphasis on how the brunt of combat casualties fall on the young. He pointed out the since the beginning of time, it has always been the young, inexperienced, low-ranking personnel who suffer the worst in combat casualties.
It was the same in Vietnam. Almost 75 percent of Army casualties were from the three lowest ranks and in the Marines it was even worse. 91 percent of Marine casualties were of the three lowest ranks. In addition, many of those casualties were young. Nearly a quarter of all enlisted casualties in Vietnam were between the ages of 17 and 19.
Kern County is considered to be one of the greatest communities in how they honor those who were killed in action. They have created a monument known as The Wall of Valor at the Kern Veterans Memorial with more than 1,000 names of those killed in service to their country from Kern County.
The memorial is located adjacent to the Kern County Visitors Bureau in Bakersfield. All in the area are encouraged to see it in person.