Let us not forget those who have served

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 29, 2010

Started back in 1868 as Decoration Day, the last Monday in May evolved into Memorial Day, a holiday on which the country remembers and reflects on the thousands of American men and women who gave their lives in service to the country.

These days, Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and Memorial Day weekend has turned into a time for picnics and auto racing, besides the many ceremonies across the country to remember the fallen.

Though we have nothing against picnics, we should all take a moment Monday to sit and reflect on the military people that have made the ultimate sacrifice in times of war. From the Revolutionary War of 1776 to the present day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, American men and women have voluntarily laid their lives on the line to keep this country free. Many of them never made it back from war, leaving behind families and loved ones.

But their sacrifices were never in vain. These great warriors and patriots knew the risks of what they were doing and still went forth to protect the land they love. They illustrate the true meaning of courage and patriotism.

Without their courage, stamina and sacrifice, this country may have been invaded many times and ruled by those who do not abide by the concept of democracy and individual freedoms. These soldiers were instrumental in making sure our way of life survived and endured, no matter what the situation.

So this Memorial Day, do enjoy a day without work, and do enjoy those barbecue ribs or hamburgers or chicken. But also take time to remember that you are doing what you want to do, saying what you want, worshiping how you want and living the good life because of the thousands of men and women who died to protect our country. For a few minutes on Monday take the time to thank these fallen warriors for keeping us safe, secure and American.