Words of memorial rang across the High Country during the Memorial Day weekend — tributes that have been ongoing annually for more than half a century from Ashelawn to other longstanding memorial traditions held in Watauga and Avery counties.

It is heartening that even with this weekend’s cool mountain weather, coupled with the calendar date suggesting the “unofficial beginning of summer,” that so many turned out to memorial services or held their own reflections throughout the High Country to pay tribute to those who gave selflessly of their courage and patriotism when their country called.

Never can it be said that the High Country does not honor its fallen heroes.

The debt of gratitude we owe to the men and women who have given all to preserve our freedom is a debt which can never be satisfied.

But it is one to which tribute can be paid. And not on a single day. This year’s Memorial Day events — an offering of our time and prayers — were a down payment. We can continue to offer our gratitude by holding those prayers close each and every day of the year.

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