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Our View: Stand up for a fallen hero

Posted: March 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Spc. Rudy A. Acosta, 19, of Canyon Country, Calif., was killed in Afghanistan March 19.

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Whatever you have planned for Thursday, we ask you to set aside some time shortly after noon to honor a local fallen hero.
Doing so will speak volumes to his family, unite our community in his loss, and give everyone who participates a chance to say, in his or her own small way, “Thanks so much for the ultimate sacrifice you made — for my freedom.”

Spc. Rudy A. Acosta was only 19 years old when he died in Afghanistan earlier this month. A combat medic, Acosta was in the Kandahar province when he and a corporal from Ohio were shot with small-arms fire, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Department of Defense.

A graduate of Santa Clarita Christian School, Acosta was “a funny kid. He was a good friend,” his former history teacher Lois Cronin recalled during his memorial service. “But above all, he was a good soldier, not just for the U.S. Army but for Christ.”

“Rudy loved his family, his church, his community, his teammates,” Congressman Howard “Buck” Mckeon, R-Santa Clarita, said in a tribute statement. “He enlisted in the Army to serve our country, which he also loved deeply. He now falls among the ranks of the greatest heroes in American history.”

A funeral is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Santa Clarita Baptist Church, 27249 Luther Drive in Canyon Country. A funeral procession from the church will wend its way to Eternal Valley Memorial Park beginning around 12:15 p.m., and the public is encouraged to honor Spc. Acosta and pay respects to his family by standing along the procession route with an American flag.

It’s so little to ask for a family that has given so much for our freedom.

The route will take the procession west on Soledad Canyon Road from the church, south on McBean Parkway, down Orchard Village Road to Lyons Avenue, and down Newhall Avenue to turn right on Sierra Highway and arrive at Eternal Valley for interment.

The public is invited to the funeral, procession and interment.

So set aside part of your lunch hour Thursday, seize this opportunity as a “teaching moment” if you have kids at home, find the flag you hang outside every Fourth of July, and stand up for Rudy A. Acosta.

Hold your American flag proudly. Rudy certainly did.

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