All year I think of the people who gave their all to keep this country's name America.

The pain one feels when they're not with their loved ones. The holidays that pass without their girlfriend or wife or, most important, their children.

To me, the word sacrifice doesn't come close to what war does to families and those who serve.

I thank all who have served, and those serving now. You are very brave men and women, and I thank heaven above that America has your service.

Memorial Day is a day of memory to me. It's a day I remember well. I remember the smiles on their faces. I remember them telling me about their girlfriend, their darling wife, and there were always pictures of the kids, all inside their helmets, with the short-timer's calendar. Knowing that one day soon they would leave the hellhole they were in. I wonder if they still say, "I'm going back to the world, America."

To all veterans, I say thank you, and godspeed.

To truly understand Memorial Day, you have to have been there and done that. And may you never have to.

Happy Memorial Day to all. You're welcome. — Michael A. Long, Trail, former Sergeant, Marine Corps, 3rd Marine Division, Vietnam

Thanks to all the young people who were putting the small America flags beside every gravesite at Eagle Point National Cemetery on Friday.

There were so many of them volunteering that they almost had the job finished by the time I'd decorated my husband's grave. They, along with all those we honor for their ultimate service, are much appreciated! — Willa Johnson, Phoenix

I just want to tell all of you and the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department, Sheriff Riggins and all the search teams involved, a big heartfelt "thank you" for your searching and coverage of the plane crash of my uncle Lonie since this past Saturday.

I know my Aunt Eva and my cousins are very grateful. So very tragic. Now that he has been found, there can be closure.

Thank you again. — Jim Mullin, County Limerick, Ireland

Having watched the politics of Eagle Point School District for many years, it's disappointing to see how students still take a back seat to the political agendas of the district office administration. Issues are class sizes of 47, no middle school counselors, and seniors can't finish their senior projects because the library is closed at lunch.

Wouldn't it have been in the best interest of students to take from the more than $3 million in carryover for next year? Instead, the administration and three board members bashed Jim Mannenbach and Mark Bateman, two board members who are trying to do what's best for students.

It's also my understanding that district administrators checked the work they did on state standards in January and then claimed to have spent an additional 100 hours to recheck their own work. If they really did a thorough job in January, why did they need to recheck their own work in May?

The District 9 community needs to wake up to the fact that you are not involved in the decisions that affect students.

It's easy to talk about students first, but it's a whole other issue to walk the talk. — Jody Streetman, Medford

It is a great relief to read a letter such as Jeff Golden's in Tuesday's Tribune: someone running for office who cares about listening to the people and cooperating with others to do what is needed for the public good!

Would that Washington knew how much we hunger for sane leaders who do not fear working with, instead of against, those from other parties or ideas. — Dorothy Brooks, Ashland

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