If you are not in the military, you don’t understand what it means to serve your country. You do not know what it means to sign your name on a piece of paper, to sign six years of service to America. You don’t know what it means to be deployed at anytime, anywhere. You don’t know what it means to put your boots on the ground and be sent into battle.
If you did not go to war and lose your fellow soldiers, if you did not avoid bullets and rockets, then you don’t know what it means to be a veteran. If you did not die in combat you don’t know what it means to give your life in the name of your country. You don’t know what war is and you never will, but you can honor those who are in the military. You can acknowledge the line that divides civilians and soldiers this Memorial Day. You can stop pretending that war does not exist, that every day someone is making a sacrifice, even those who came home pay the price of their service every day.
Memorial Day is an occasion to pay tribute to the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials and place an American flag on gravesites.
Look at the middle section in this week’s paper for a list of fallen heroes. You can also see organizations and businesses who support honoring our veterans by sponsoring this special section. We encourage you to save the section and pin it up on your wall. We encourage you to remember.
Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died. By the 20th century, the holiday had been extended to honor the countless Americans who have died in wars.
You can never know the meaning of war until you have seen it with your own eyes and felt it in your own heart, but on Memorial Day we can all come together in unity and respect for those that have faced such days.
Fallen heroes, you are gone, but never forgotten.