They are gone, but not forgotten

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Veterans' stories show patriotic spirit of Stateline Area.

THE DAY-TO-DAY news often seems like a disturbing litany of man's infinite inhumanity toward man, from violence to scandal to criminality and more.

Sometimes the news media gets the blame, but the late great Walter Cronkite once explained it this way: "Nobody wants to hear about the cat that didn't get lost."

So it's not surprising the aberrations in society occupy people's minds, because the abnormal makes news.

It's good, though, to take a deep breath and understand how what Lincoln called the "better angels" of humanity can warm the heart. We call readers attention to two stories from the past week or so.

BOTH INVOLVE VETERANS of the U.S. armed forces, individuals eminently deserving recognition and honor.

• A Marine corporal killed in battle during World War II finally was brought home, for his remains to be interred with full honors in Delavan. Cpl. Raymond A. Barker was lost in the Battle of Tarawa, and had been reported as missing in action. He died Nov. 20, 1943.

• Sgt. John Valentine Artlip was gravely wounded during the Civil War, in the Battle of Shiloh. He "lost everything," according to his great great grandson Ken Artlip, who is 75 years old and finally found his relative in a pauper's grave in Roscoe. At long last, Sgt. Artlip's final resting place is marked with an appropriate tombstone.

AMERICAN VETERANS deserve, and often receive, the grateful thanks of their countrymen. But sometimes, across the nation's long history, that doesn't happen for one reason or another.

What these stories about Cpl. Barker and Sgt. Artlip say is that here, in America, deserving veterans may be gone but not forgotten. Honors for these men were overdue, and it's heartwarming to see a debt paid.

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