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Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Jean Sexton (our proofreader) writes: This is Memorial Day weekend. Many people look at this as a three-day weekend, filled with cookouts and with the running of the Indianapolis 500. We have more time to spend with family and friends. We can relax in the lovely spring we are having.

But our freedom to do so comes at a cost that we have not paid directly. We may have friends, family, and ancestors that paid the price, but we live on.

The celebration of Memorial Day started after the Civil War. The Northern states were impressed that the South had "Decoration Day" when graves were decorated in memory of those who had died in the war. After World War I, Memorial Day was expanded to include all those in the military who died in war.

While written on a British war memorial at Rohima, India in 1944, these words should resonate with us all:

When you go home
Tell them of us, and say
For your tomorrow
We gave our today.

We should not neglect to remember that sacrifice. It was made for us and for those who come after us.

This is not just about the war on terrorism currently being fought militarily in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa. We remember those who fought in the Civil War, no matter the side. Each side thought it had right on its side and what matters is the people were willing to die for what they believed. Over 3,000,000 men fought in that war and over 600,000 of them died, more Americans than died in World War II.