Memorial Day meaning has been forgotten

To the Journal editor:

My grandfather was a member of the famous 32nd Red Arrow Division of World War I made up of Upper Michigan and Wisconsin National Guardsman.

He was wounded in Belgium. My father was in the Army-Air Corps in World War II stationed in China-Burma and India all during the war. My brother is a Vietnam era veteran.

So the pending celebration of Memorial Day often sends me to that quiet place where I ponder the ultimate sacrifice of many veterans and families.

What was it like for a young man, with young children, to answer the call to fight for freedom? How heavy was the burden of protecting our nation’s way of life? Is it possible for me, and my children, to understand and remember a soldier’s sacrifice?

How can I help them realize the life we enjoy today is because of the commitment many men and women made to freedom over 200 plus years?

As you raise your flag on Memorial Day, or take your child by the hand at a graveside ceremony to explain why we pause to honor those who have fallen, remember to take a look at all the flags on the veterans graves. Remember that they served their country honorably to ensure our freedom.

I wish you a very safe Memorial Day. Unfortunately, with creation of the three-day weekend, the solemn significance of Memorial day has faded away. Instead of being a day of mourning and remembrance for those who died defending our great country, it has become a day of barbecues, beaches and sales in the stores.

What a sad statement we make when we fail to give proper respect to those who died to give us the freedoms we enjoy today.


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