In the memory of our soldiers
May 21, 2008
Memorial Day is the time for Americans to reconnect with their history and core values by honoring those who gave their lives for the ideals we cherish.
In next week's paper you will see photos from the many Memorial Day parades that are planned in our communities. This newspaper, like most across the country feels a great responsibility in covering these ceremonies this Monday. We do it with great pride and in honor of the many fine men and women who have served and who are serving.
Although I generally like to write humor columns, poking fun at myself or others, it just didn't seem appropriate this week. When searching for ideas for this column nothing came to mind except the enormous sacrifices of our soldiers.
Sadly, many of us have lost a connection with our history and the importance of Memorial Day. To many, Memorial Day has come to mean simply a three day weekend or a major shopping day. Families might still gather for picnics, but the spirit of remembrance is too often absent.
Some of it is only natural I suppose.
Americans are easily outraged, but our memory is short. After September 11, 2001, a date that needs little, if any, explanation, a frenzy of patriotism swept across this country like no other time I have ever seen. Today, I sense we are once again drifting back into our own small, selfish world of apathy.
Recently, a friend of my father's sent me a piece written by Charles M. Province. It reads:
"It is the Soldier, not the reporter, who has given us Freedom of the Press,
It is the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us Freedom of Speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the Freedom to Demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial; And it is the Soldier—who salutes the flag, who serves the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag—who allows the protester to burn the flag."
We in this country owe a great debt of gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives so that we could live free. We can start to pay that debt by not forgetting, by remembering what they did and what they stood for.
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