My late father-in-law, Robert Proft, isn't around to remind people for whom today's holiday was intended. His contribution to their memory was his annual letters to the editor, gently reminding us to take a moment between hot dogs and family gatherings to reflect on the lives given by soldiers in times of war -- lives given ultimately on our behalf.
Every Memorial Day, Dad was asked by local radio stations to come on their shows and read some examples of the heroic actions taken by average soldiers to save lives in the presence of imminent threat. He read those examples from "United States of America's Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients and Their Official Citations."
The book was compiled and independently published by Bob Proft, and at the time was the only compendium covering Medal of Honor recipients from the Indian Wars through our most current conflicts. His son, James Proft (himself a Vietnam vet), keeps the book updated to include current recipients.
While we, his family, pay homage to our lost soldiers, we also remember Dad and his unending devotion to veterans of all wars -- past, present and (sadly) future. Regardless of how we feel about the right or wrong of war, there is no equivocation when it comes to the men and women who are fighting it.
They are our heroes. And Dad is our family's hero.
KAREN PROFT, MEDINA
This letter was written on behalf of Robert Proft's sons, Pat and Jim, and his widow, Marguerite.