Published Date Written by Jim Lewis
There are several noble professions, but few truly heroic ones. How many of us put our life on the line in our work? Police officers, firefighters, emergency responders do. And, of course, soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, military personnel who serve our country, defend our freedom and keep us safe.
These people have earned, through their dedication, our respect and gratitude. So when we learned that we published the incorrect name of a former infantry officer who spoke during a Veterans Day observance at Middletown Area Middle School, we decided to do more than run a short correction. We decided to reprint the article in its entirety.
It is an unusual step for a newspaper to take. And all newspapers make mistakes – as long as they are produced by human beings, who are imperfect, they will make them. All good newspapers correct errors. The Press And Journal corrects any factual error it publishes, as do other papers.
By reprinting the article with the speaker’s correct name, we believe we accurately share his accomplishments and words. It seemed right to us: As chroniclers of history, among our other functions as a newspaper, we should accurately tell the story of someone like Eric Fegley, the speaker at the middle school program, for posterity, and a correction appearing separately from our article about his accomplishments and speech seemed lacking.
You can find the reprinted article on page A2 in this edition.
Fegley, of Middletown, spent eight years as an infantry officer in the Army, serving in Afghanistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina during his military career. A 1991 graduate of Middletown Area High School, he earned the Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge, Ranger Tab, Expert Infantryman Badge and Meritorious Service Medal.
His Veterans Day speech on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at the middle school was part of what has become a very impressive observance of the holiday. The program included an impressive video that showed the faces, one by one, of every veteran from Middletown who has been killed in action in conflicts from World War I on.
It wasn’t the only Veterans Day celebration at a Middletown school: Seven Sorrows School provided a pancake breakfast to veterans and active military personnel associated with the school and Seven Sorrows BVM Church. Students created thank-you cards for participants.
Honoring our veterans is a great opportunity to teach history – and respect. Schools seem to be observing Veterans Day more and more. As a nation, our respect for our heroes seems to have swelled as we’ve better understood what they have done for us in their service. We hope our reprint is in that same spirit of respect.