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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Restore Memorial Day ... and have a good holiday

Memorial Day is a solemn holiday organized to remember those who died for our freedom, but it's become a day to grill by the pool, spend a day at the lake or take a long weekend vacation. Have we forgotten the cost of a free country?

Maybe the original meaning of Memorial Day has faded from our consciousness. While war rages on in the Middle East, we could stop and remember those who made it possible for us to enjoy Memorial Day festivities. Those who died became martyrs for our freedom and are the reason we don't live in fear every day. And I guarantee they don't get a day off of work in Afghanistan.

Memorial Day was traditionally May 30 every year, but the government eventually moved it to the last Monday of May so people could have a three-day weekend. Some say this further distracted us. Maybe it's how the holiday is marketed that distracts us. Whatever it is, let's put our flags out and at 3 p.m. on Monday have a moment of silence to remember the dead.

I don't intend to make anyone feel bad on their day off. I intend the opposite — our life and all of its joys will be that much richer if we stop and think about the blood, sweat and tears that went into making our country great. A good thing usually doesn't come easy. I hope, if anything, it helps you to enjoy the day you have off even more.

So let this not be a day where we debate whether or not this current war should have ever taken place. Let it be a day where we can all come together and thank those who died for the freedoms we enjoy.