Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day -- A Day of Remembrance, and Celebration of Freedom

Several people I spoke with today wished me a happy Memorial Day. I appreciate their wishes that I have a good day. I'm sure they're thinking of many of the things we do on Memorial Day -- spend time with friends, enjoy warm weather, look forward to summer, and more.
   That's fine. That's good... But let's hold on a second!
Memorial Day is a holiday to honor those who died in war
   Members of the armed forces of the United States have died in order to protect the freedoms we believe in, the things that make us Americans. I think it's fitting that we spend Memorial Day doing the kinds of things servicemen and women have fought, and died, to allow us to do. Gather with friends and family, have a beer and a burger in the backyard, go to the things that kickoff the freedom of summer. It's a holiday!
   Celebrating has become a big part of Memorial Day, and I think that when we do that we're honoring our fallen. Who among the fallen wouldn't want to be with us on this day? Let them be with us in spirit.
   Remember. Remember and honor their sacrifice
   The tradition of Memorial Day started shortly after the Civil War. It didn't become a federal holiday until 1971, but it was observed by several states long before then. There are parades to honor all who serve and have served, in no small part because they could have become one of those we remember, instead of one of those we honor.
   Take some time on Monday, Memorial Day, to remember the fallen. I remember my great uncle Elmer Beck, even though I never knew him. I remember looking at the medals given my great grandmother for Uncle Elmer's service. He was lost over New Guinea in World War II and never found. Each war our nation has been involved in has people we need to remember. There are memorials in many towns to those who fell. I'm going to take a little quiet time tomorrow to go visit one or two in this town I've adopted as my place of residence. The names won't be known to me, but I'll be grateful for their sacrifice just the same.
   I think I'll finally take the time to put the American flag back on the porch. We had one there for quite a while until a hard wind made the flag pole bend the bracket. The flag was fine, but we never got around to replacing the bracket. I'll put the new bracket up tomorrow morning and fly the flag.
   It's the least I can do. Remember, put the flag back on the porch, and celebrate freedom.

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