Marine Jonathan Smith died serving his country
Soldiers go off to war and, thankfully, most of them come home to resume their civilian lives.
Then there are the real heroes who fall in battle. They don't choose to be heroic, they simply do their jobs as soldiers.
Some people still remember the long lines at the recruiting offices after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Lance Cpl. Jonathan Smith was no less patriotic.
He joined the U.S. Marine Corps knowing that he would likely be involved in the war in Iraq. The Sept. 11 attacks on America angered him, and he wanted to do his part.
His father, Garry Smith, noted that his 22-year-old son died June 6, D-Day, the day 61 years ago that the largest army ever assembled stormed ashore at Normandy to begin liberation of Europe in 1944.
The family will have many memories of the first Morgan County soldier to die in the war. They also will remember that he died while on a house-to-house search in Fallujah for weapons and the elusive enemy when a homemade bomb exploded.
No one knows what this young man would have become later in life. But we do know that he planned to attend college, get a good job and probably raise a family. He would have been a solid citizen, a credit to the Corps he joined because he wanted to be the best.
The nation, and his home county, will continue to be grateful for his willingness to serve his country. For all Americans, we take on the role of posthumously thanking this young man for responding to his country's need for a few good men.
And we offer condolences to Garry and Donna Smith of Eva and to their daughter, Adrienne.