It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.
~ Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC
We were saddened last week to hear of the death of a hero.
Major Walter David Gray, 39, and the father of three small children, paid the ultimate sacrifice for each one of us and our families; he was killed in Afghanistan not by an enemy soldier but by a coward suicide bomber.
Major Gray grew up on the Rockdale/Walton County line on Miller Bottom Road.
Pete Mecca wrote a moving story about a celebration of life for Major Gray. (See page 9.) Visit RockdaleNews.com to see video of the candlelight vigil honoring Major Gray.
It takes a special person to be willing to go in harm's way in order to put their life on the line to protect people who are known and unknown; it's the type of character that's not taught - it's inbred.
We are sorry that Major Gray had to leave us at this time. He was brave and way too young.
But we are grateful every minute that we breathe, that we have soldiers like him posted in every world frontier you can image, who are in every minute of their lives on alert to protect you and your family from the type of cowards who took his life.
We salute you, Major Gray. Every time we look at our flag we will think of you and the millions of others like you who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
The Loganville High school class of 1992 has set up a special fund for Major Gray's children. Call (770) 883-5893 for details. We encourage you to contribute to their future.