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Memorial Day an opportunity to mark country, veterans

Memorial Day in the Upper Peninsula is typically the official opening of spring. Campgrounds are packed, grills are brought out and dusted off, and the air is filled with the smell of barbeque. But as we know, 2020 is anything but a typical year.

With Friday’s partial reopening of many businesses in our region, combined with temperatures in the 70s, it will be tempting for some to return to life as normal for this Memorial Day weekend. However, we advise that Yoopers find smart ways to celebrate.

An article by the Hartford Courant says “there are ways to honor the fallen, and to help those who fought alongside them and survived, without gathering in large groups.”

“Americans should commemorate the war dead,” said Lorren Pogson, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “It’s a moment, a huge moment, for self-reflection and to recognize and feel gratitude for the selfless service and sacrifice of these people, people of different beliefs and ideologies” she said.

The article says to consider making a donation to charities that benefit our veterans this year, as many of them are particularly at risk during this pandemic. But if your family cannot make a donation, there are other ways for us to be of service to our vets.

“Many veterans are getting older. If you know someone in your neighborhood, offer to cut grass or help clean or landscape the yard,” said Ken McLellan, who served in the Army from 1973 to 2006.

During this critical time in our country, it may be more important than ever to remember our veterans. It is now our time to serve them. It’s the least we can do after all they sacrificed for us.

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