Our hero

Published 9:07 am Thursday, December 16, 2010

We cannot begin to fathom the emotional grief felt today by the Rev. Willie and Diane McLawhorn of Conway. Their 23-year-old son, Will, was killed in action, along with five others, this past weekend during a suicide attack at the entrance of a joint NATO-Afghan base in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan.

The oldest of the six victims was only 25; all, like Army Sgt. McLawhorn, with the best times of their lives still waiting for each to enjoy.

We will not use this space to debate the issue of why American troops remain in Afghanistan after nine years of fighting. That’s an issue for our elected leaders to ponder and reach a decision.

Politics aside, we will continue to support our brave men and women in uniform. They took an oath to protect and serve their country and did so without hesitation or reservation.

Will McLawhorn’s death does however remind us that freedom is not free; it comes with a price, that of the blood shed by this young man and millions of others before him from the Revolutionary War to present day battlefields.

It takes a special breed of young men and women to be willing to lay down their life in defense of this nation. That patriotic spirit and love of fellow man is what fuels the fire which burns so passionately within their hearts and souls.

For those of us fortunate to cross paths with Will McLawhorn at some period of our lives, consider that time as a brush with greatness.

Our sincere condolences go out to the McLawhorn family, as well as to the others that just lost a loved one. To the McLawhorns, we know your strong religious beliefs will help you through this time of grief, but also know that the love and support of the Roanoke-Chowan community is there to lean on as well.

Thank-you for sharing your son to defend this nation. His bravery will never be forgotten.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald