2016-05-25 / Editorials

Celebrate Our American Heroes On Memorial Day

Memorial Day is almost here – the unofficial, but traditional start of Summer. Who among us has not been anxiously awaiting everyone’s favorite time of year? The time for street fairs, barbecues, family gatherings, outdoor fun and vacations! All this stemming from a simple extra day off on the last Monday of May. Not to rain on anyone’s parade (anything but, especially with actual Memorial Day parades taking place), but we always hope and strive to remain cognizant of the real meaning behind our various traditions and holidays. We suspect this may be one of our more overlooked holidays. Our country’s founders and leaders felt these days were important for a reason. And so we remind ourselves of the real reason we have this day off. It has been set aside to honor and celebrate those soldiers who have given their lives to protect our country and its ideals of democracy – it was anything but a vacation for them. It started soon after the Civil War ended, was extended after World War I to include honoring fallen heroes of all American wars, going back to our country’s creation, with the American Revolution, and was made a national holiday by Congress in 1971.

Far too many of us have lost loved ones in military service, or after, as a result of their service. It is a sad fact of life. We must honor them, and all our soldiers who sacrificed their lives for us. We can visit a veterans’ cemetery and place a flag or wreath, attend the Memorial Day Parade of choice, make cards for soldiers recuperating in hospitals; say a prayer, or give some thought and thanks.

We pay tribute, and also show appreciation for our dearly bought freedom of self-determination, by upholding the ideals they gave their lives for, and vigilantly protect and exercise our democratic rights. That said, we wish everyone a safe and fine Memorial Day holiday.

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