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Memorial Day Means Do Your Part

Memorial Day for most people is the unoffical start of summer. It ushers in that liberating feeling that carefree days of warm summer days are here. memorial day.jpg

Memorial Day should be much more than that - particularly when lives are at risk defending freedom. On this day, we should all honor those who are in the service of our country as well as those that have passed who dutifully served.

Memorial Day got it start when Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic officially proclaimed a day of memorial on May 5, 1868 to be observed on May 30 of the same year. On that day, flowers were placed upon the graves of all the soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  The nation had suffered tremendous loss through the Civil War and the divisiveness had not healed despite the end of the war. Memorial Day was a chance to honor and remember.

I heard a suggestion of a DJ on a radio station that we should call someone we knew that had served or was serving in the armed forces. That seems like a decent gesture but may I suggest something more?  Maybe on Memorial Day we can think about all those that have sacrificed life for our freedom and then we commit to do a little more to uphold the values of that freedom.

For example, could you be more tolerant? Maybe be less angry while driving? How about reading to a child or volunteering at a hospital? On Memorial Day could you commit to visit an aging relative or even better, a senior facility where you don’t know anyone but where a visit would mean so much? Will you commit to understand the issues of the next local, state or national election and exercise your right to vote?

For more than 225 years, Americans have sacrificed, often with their lives to make not only the United States but the world a better place. We can honor these men and women best by doing our part to make our community, neighborhood and family a place of peace, community and safety. If we all do our small part, the world will be a better place.


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