It was a brutal, unthinkable crime against one of this nation's greatest heroes: a veteran of World War II.
There are not many of these brave men and women left, as their ages increase and their health conditions decline. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, about 680 World War II vets die every day.
How horrible that one of those great men, 88-year-old Delbert Belton, survived the war, but died this week at the hands of two teenage boys in Spokane, Washington. On Friday, the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office announced that Belton died of blunt facial and head injuries.
Also on Friday, Spokane police announced they arrested one 16-year-old boy, charging him with first-degree robbery and first-degree murder. Investigators are still looking for another teen, also 16, in connection with Belton's death. Belton, affectionately known as "Shorty," was reportedly beaten and left for dead outside a lounge where he loved playing pool.
Police, who found him in the parking lot, have yet to identify a motive.
In Huntsville, an organization known as Liberty's Legacy is working to "pass the torch to the next generation." It seems that now, more than ever, we need to teach children about civic responsibility, patriotism and their important role in America's future. We strive for healthy minds, bodies and spirits.
Let us also teach our children about healthy attitudes toward our country and those who have so bravely served.