May 20, 2009 It's difficult to link the words 'war' and 'holiday' unless of course the holiday is to celebrate the end of all wars.
Memorial day is a 'holiday' for most of us, but wars rage on. It provides a long weekend to catch up on some chores, picnic with family and friends, take a short road trip or take a break from work.
For thousands of troops in Iran and Afghanistan, Monday will not even remotely resemble a holiday. For families who've lost a loved one in these conflicts, the holiday will be a somber one indeed. Twenty-four more hours to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in wars created for purposes that are not always clear but are always costly in human lives and suffering.
Regardless of one's opinion on the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, it is fitting that those of us on American soil take at least a moment to reflect on the true purpose of this holiday; that we come together as brothers and sisters in the family of humanity and remember those who served and died, and honor those who continue to serve today.
Events planned in each of the Tri-City area communities make the possibility of doing so real. The local parades and ceremonies don't take much time and are year-in-and-year-out emotionally moving and memorable. You see the faces of those who served and survived and hear the names of those who weren't as lucky.
Take time on Monday to connect with local and national history and commemorate a 'holiday' for its intended purpose: to honor those who gave their lives for our country, for us.