The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 6, 2012

Our View: Voting least we can do

The Joplin Globe

— There are some who won’t drive out of their way today to vote. They complain that it takes too much time. It’s a hassle. It won’t make a difference, anyway. Apathy, as contagious as the flu, has them turning their backs on the ballot.

On Election Day, we offer up a story that might change a few minds.

Harry Givens voluntarily joined the Marine Corps in 1944. Because of the color of his skin, he attended recruit training at the segregated Montford Point Camp. But he endured the mistreatment because he loved his country.

Today, more than 66 years after leaving the Marine Corps, Givens is confined to a wheelchair in a nursing center. Yet, when he talks about his contribution to America, we can imagine him standing tall and to attention. He regards his opportunity to serve as one of his proudest moments.

Givens is known throughout this community as the Rev. Givens. We are proud of his accomplishments not only as a soldier but as a minister and a community leader.

We cheered from a distance when on Friday of the past week, Givens was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor, to recognize his service at Montford. He is part of an elite group of men who understood that honor and sacrifice often go hand in hand.

Harry Givens, now 86, didn’t waver when his country and his community needed him the most.

Let him, along with all the men and women who have fought for their country, be your inspiration, if you need one, to cast a ballot today.