Honoring Memorial Day | Editorial

Fun in the sun. Backyard barbecues. An extra day off work.

This is what many people think of when they plan for the three-day Memorial Day weekend holiday. We’d like to point out the real reason we honor this holiday: veterans.

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, place an American flag on gravesites or support a charity that remembers fallen warriors and provides ongoing support to their families. It is also appropriate to fly the flag at half-staff on Memorial Day from sunrise until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation’s battle heroes.

San Juan remembrance ceremonies will be held on May 28 at 9:30 a.m. this year at Memorial Park at the base of Spring Street. Organizers said this change from the normal time will better accommodate the ferry traffic. The guest speaker will be Town of Friday Harbor Mayor Farhad Ghatan. Join organizers to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect freedom.

Look for American Legion ladies around town to purchase a commemorative poppy to help disabled veterans.

See pages 8 and 9 in this week’s paper for a Memorial Day tribute.

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 all Americans who have died in wars.

This coming holiday weekend marks the launch of the summer season. Lather on the sunscreen, go to the lake and stroll through the farmers market. But also take a moment to appreciate those who have fought on our behalf and now rest silently beneath the ground.