Take a Moment to Remember

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Its purpose is to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the Civil War, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives whether they had served in the military or not.

Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and it has become a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 (since 1911) and the Coca-Cola 600 (since 1960) auto races.

Next Monday on Memorial Day, May 30, 2011, why not take more than a second or two out of your festivities to remember the fallen who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on your behalf? And then maybe go out of your way just a little bit to thank a veteran for their service. Let them know it’s about more than not having to go to work for a day. It’ll make the veteran feel good, and you might get a warm fuzzy all of your own for having acknowledged to another human being that you understand and appreciate what their sacrifice is all about.

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.

It is the
VETERAN who
salutes the Flag . . .

. . .  and it is
the
VETERAN
who serves
under the Flag,

Rest in Peace and Godspeed

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