By Sen. Gerald Dial
Memorial Day is a time for Americans to reconnect with their history and core values, by honoring those who gave their lives for the ideas we cherish. More than a million American service men and women have died in our nation’s wars and conflicts, since the first colonial solider took up arms in 1775 to fight for our independence. Each one who died during the throes of these conflicts was a loved one, cherished by family and friends. Each death was a loss to the community, the nation, and most of all to their families.
The observance of this day was born out of compassion, in 1863.
In 1882, the nation observed its first official Memorial Day, set aside by congress to remember and honor the sacrifice of those who served and died.
For decades, Memorial Day has been a day when stores closed, communities gathered together for parades, and other celebrations. Memorial Day meant ceremonies at cemeteries around the country, with speeches honoring those who gave their lives.
In some places, these ceremonies continue to help us remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. We come to honor the dead and stand before the veterans parks and show our respect for their service to our country. We understand that on Memorial Day we honor the ideas and values for which those soldiers stood and died.
Sadly, many Americans have lost this connection with their history. All too many Americans today view military service as an abstraction, an image seen on television, or in the movies. For a growing percentage of American people Memorial day has come to mean simply a three-day-weekend vacation, or a shopping day. Families might still gather for picnics and days at the lake, but for many of them, the Patriotic core…the sprit of remembrance…is absent.
How will you show your loyalty to our Country in appreciation for those who made the ultimate sacrifice? I hope you will take this time to remember those to whom we owe so much.
God Bless you and all those who have served this great country.