Memorial Day weekend. The first official kickoff to summer. The kids are out of school. Most adults have a three-day weekend. The weather is usually sunny. Yes, it’s the perfect weekend for a family outing.
Let’s go through the checklist.
Sounds like we’re ready to go — except many of us do not take the time any more to add one more item to the checklist.
Monday is a holiday not because it’s the first three-day weekend of summer vacation. It’s set aside specifically so Americans can reflect on the freedoms we are able to enjoy because of those in the military who have given their time and some their lives, fighting for these freedoms.
I’m not sure who wrote this but I’ve seen it passed around the e-mail circuit:
It is the veteran not the preacher who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the veteran not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the veteran not the poet who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the veteran not the campus organizer who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the veteran not the lawyer who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the veteran not the politician who has given us the right to vote.
I’ve had the privilege of covering Memorial Day services in cemeteries around the county the past eight years. In that time, I’ve watched the size of the crowds slowly dwindle. Some families attend services every year. Others used to but have become too busy. The majority of those have passed away and no one has taken their place.
Memorial Day services take about 30 minutes of our time. Surely we can spare 30 minutes out of 365 days to recognize our fallen heroes.
Thank you, veterans. We appreciate your sacrifices for us. We continue to support you and your families as you serve this great country.
— susan berg