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Memorial Day — Remember the Sacrifices for Freedom

Memorial Day is a time to honor our fallen soldiers. Wars have stretched so far back to the founding of our own nation, and freedom is hard won.

The problem is the war is not over for many segments of this nation. I think it is time to honor all who have fought for freedom and to do that by providing everyone the freedom to pursue life, love, liberty, and happiness.

You can take the time today to celebrate your fallen loved ones or even strangers by placing flags at the cemetery. You could read poems to the fallen. Or you could read books about the wars fought all over the world.

In Flanders Fields
by Lt. John McCrae

 In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields.

Memorial Day Cookouts & Remembrance

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Memorial Day is a federal day of remembrance.  It began as a way to remember those who died during the U.S. Civil War, but now it is a day to remember all who have served in the military, including our current troops.

Many people take the time to visit the graves of their loved ones who were veterans of war, while some have just placed flags on graves for those who served, even without knowing those soldiers personally.  This is a day of remembrance for those who lost their lives in war.

While I agree that these men and women should be remembered, I also urge you to remember those who currently serve (and yes, they are celebrated in November). But I think the sacrifices these troops make, and in some cases, the legacy that they continue, is just as important as those who have passed before us.

I’m lucky to know many current members of the military who have bravely fought, served, and returned home in one piece, but there are so many who are still emotionally, psychologically, and physically scarred.  These men deserve our care and consideration on this day.  Rather than have a cookout or place a flag on a grave — though you can still do those things, too — why not volunteer in a VA for an hour or take some hard-earned cash and donate it to a veterans organization, like the Wounded Warrior Project.

Enjoy the time you have off with veterans and family.  Make the most of it before it’s gone.

RIP Vovo — WWII veteran.