2015-05-20 / Editorials

They Did Not Die In Vain

For those who are impatient for celebration, outdoor fun, sunshine, and vacation, Memorial Day is the traditional start of summer. It is for many a three-day weekend with perhaps a short trip, a barbecue and bathing suit shopping planned.

Of course, as with all our holidays, it is a commemoration of something larger than our individual plans. Memorial Day started as a way to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War. After World War I, the holiday was expanded to include all who died in military service.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day. Volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. It is traditional to fly the flag of our nation at half-mast from dawn until noon on that day.

Memorial Day is as relevant as ever. On this day we acknowledge and show gratitude to those who made the ultimate sacrifice – their lives – to defend our country and its fine ideals; our life today is not perfect, but with our freedom of expression and dissent, our ability to participate in self-government, we have the opportunity for improving any inequities or any situation in which working together brings the greatest results.

Plant a seed of civic responsibility and awareness in the young by commemorating the day. We also do this to remind ourselves to preserve these hard-won rights, so our soldiers did not die in vain. Attend one of the parades near you, offer a moment of silence in honor of those who died to preserve our cherished way of life.

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