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Our View: All due respect

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

– John 15: 13

In that one sentence is perhaps the best way to describe the actions of heroes – those who bravely put themselves in harm’s way on behalf of a fellow human being.

Our community is full of such heroes, and knowing this, we should do everything we can to honor and respect their contributions.

However, there has been no greater hero, no one from Craig who has more exemplified the admirable traits of hero, than the late Maj. William E. Adams, a Medal of Honor recipient.

Adams, a son of our community, was a U.S. Army helicopter pilot who was killed May 25, 1971, in the Kontum Province in Vietnam.

Aware that he was entering a hostile area – and one where three soldiers lay wounded and in need of help – Major Adams selflessly put himself in harm’s way to help his comrades.

His helicopter was struck down by enemy fire :

He lay down his life for his friends.

And he was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.

Last week, residents and veterans showed their respect for Adams’ sacrifice by signing letters to the Moffat County School District lobbying for a school to be named after the fallen soldier.

After just a few days, the effort on Adams’ behalf, led by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post, had 16 letters containing 94 signatures in support of the Adams name proposal.

As of now, the Adams name proposal is one of several the school naming committee has to consider. The committee is narrowing the list of names to no more than eight, and then will submit the final list to kindergarten through fifth-grade students district-wide for a vote.

The School Board is the final authority on the name.

In the Editorial Board’s opinion, there can be no easier decision than naming the school after Adams.

The Vietnam era was, to many, a dark period in American history. It was full of cultural change and civil unrest, things that sometimes divided the country, the loss of thousands upon thousands of young lives, and disrespect to soldiers who simply followed the orders of politicians.

Naming the school after Adams is a step, albeit a small one, toward righting some of those wrongs inflicted on returning soldiers decades ago. It says that our community recognizes and appreciates the sacrifices of not only Adams, but of all of our veterans who fought for their country.

The name also cements Adams’ story and legacy in the community, something that has gone overlooked until now. Note: his name appears on nothing in our community, which is clearly an injustice.

If there is a list of achievements greater than the Medal of Honor – and Editorial Board members aren’t sure there is – it is certainly a short one.

Translation: any name chosen in front of Adams would have to be unbelievably significant, and board members wonder if that’s possible, given the major’s recognition and service to country.

This editorial is hoping the school naming committee does its part by forwarding Adams’ name onto the students for a vote. Board members hope those committee members take it a step further and tell the students of the heroic sacrifice he made and the importance of the honor his country bestowed upon him.

After the case has been made, we’re willing to bet our students make the same easy decision we did in supporting our hero in the manner he so truly deserves.


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