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Bud Day Speaks a Briar Cliff

The late George E. "Bud" Day speaks at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City in May 2011. The U.S. Air Force recently gave the Sioux City native, who died in 2013, a posthumous honorary promotion to brigadier general.

Something he, unfortunately, didn't get to enjoy when he was alive finally happened in death for Sioux City native and American military hero George E. "Bud" Day.

On June 8, the Air Force presented Day's widow, Doris, with her husband's posthumous honorary promotion from colonel to brigadier general during a concert at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, the Air Force Times reported.

One of our country's most-decorated veterans, Day died at 88 at his home in Shalimar, Fla., on July 27, 2013. A Medal of Honor recipient, he served our nation with distinction in three wars. His five years, seven months and 13 days as a POW during the Vietnam war and the unspeakable torture he endured is well-chronicled.

The promotion ends years of determined efforts by committed advocates here and elsewhere (in particular, we cite the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce as a leader) to secure for Day the rank he earned.

In a Nov. 11, 2007, editorial headlined "Continuing the Crusade," we wrote of our support for a Day promotion at a time when its prospects appeared dim.

"In typical fashion, the humble Day does not seek this attention and honor," we wrote then. "Rather, his hometown seeks it for him. When this nation needed Day, when his fellow POWs needed Day, when retired veterans needed Day, he was there. Doing this for him seems the least our community can do in return."

To their credit, Day supporters didn't surrender, didn't waver. We commend everyone who worked and applied pressure behind the scenes through the years to honor Day in this meaningful way.

Questions related to why this promotion took so long ("... we can't help but wonder if Day still isn't the victim of military politics," we wrote in 2007) linger in our minds, but it serves no useful purpose to dwell on the past today.

Rather, we choose to focus on what's most important: The fact our late, larger-than-life native son from this point forward can be referred to as General "Bud" Day.

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