Sikeston's James Blair Moran recognized with Spirit of America Award

If there's a running theme among all our past Spirit of America Award winners, it might just be humility.

It seems none of our winners want to take credit for their accomplishments -- for the very reasons why they were nominated and then selected as winners.

Certainly that holds true this year with James Blair Moran, a Vietnam War veteran and selfless volunteer for many causes involving other military veterans.

Blair accepted the Spirit of America Award, but dedicated it in the memory of his fellow infantrymen who were lost in the war. He never forgot his fellow soldiers, and continues to honor them. He serves on the Sikeston Veterans Park Committee; the American Legion awarded him the Distinguished Legionnaire of the Year in 2011; he serves on the Missouri Military Veterans Hall of Fame Committee and helps raise funds for the Missouri National Veterans Memorial in Perryville.

One of his most cherished honors was pinning the Medal of Honor upon the uniform of a friend.

We're so very proud of Moran and his service to country and community. Congratulations, sir. It was our honor and privilege to recognize Moran Thursday night before the fireworks show in Cape Girardeau. The Southeast Missourian will donate $1,000 to the Sikeston Veterans Park Committee, the organization that nominated Moran.

The newspaper received two other nominations for the award this year.

The Red House Interpretive Center nominated Don Koehler, who is both a veteran of the Missouri National Guard and also a local historian who tells stories and shares history at the Red House.

Donnie Rodgers nominated longtime Old Town Cape director Marla Mills. Mills dedicated 13 years to downtown Cape Girardeau, and helped lead the area to a dramatic turnaround. We owe a debt of gratitude to both Koehler and Mills for making a big difference in Cape Girardeau.

Thank you to those who were nominated and those who nominated these fine individuals for our annual Spirit of America Award.