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Memorial Day’s meaning hits home

When I was a student in elementary, junior high and high school, my teachers never taught me about the meaning behind Memorial Day, simply because our school district’s schedule was set up so that we were already out for summer vacation by that point.
Since the holiday was never topical at the end of the school year, I guess my teachers didn’t feel it was necessary to teach me about the significance of what Memorial Day stood for.
It wasn’t until well after college — because most college-aged kids certainly aren’t worried about the reason behind an alcohol-filled afternoon by the pool — that I really started to figure out why Memorial Day was so important that banks and cities shut down completely as a way to show they were observing the day.
For those of you who still aren’t aware, Memorial Day is when we reflect on the men and women who have given their lives in the ultimate goal to serve their country. For Ennis folks, Memorial Day is the final day of a festive Polka-themed weekend, but many in this community know what the holiday is truly all about.
After reading Tuesday’s article on the front page of this publication, I realized that there are some people out there who truly take Memorial Day seriously. They will spend some of their free time on a day they might usually be working to honor the servicemen and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in order for civilians like you and me to keep the freedoms we take for granted.
I certainly don’t want to lay a guilt trip on anyone regarding what your Memorial Day plans were. Had I not been working on Monday — and I use the term working loosely because at a newspaper on a holiday it is near impossible to get a hold of anyone for a story because everyone else in the free world has the day off and is executing that privilege — I would have been at a state park with my wife and dog enjoying the great outdoors. So please don’t misunderstand me, I am not trying to be the pot calling the kettle black.
Instead of placing blame on anyone for what they do with a holiday that should be a time of somber reflection and honorable observance, I want to say a couple of things to some people here in town. First of all, thank you to all military persons, ex-military or current. You do and have done the things I don’t want to so I can live a free and happy life.
Secondly, to the veterans, their family members and anyone else that treats Memorial Day the way it should be by putting up flags in cemeteries and spending their free time paying their respects. You have remembered what this holiday is really all about and that should be commended. The significance of Memorial Day is becoming lost on many of us. You folks are also heroes of our country, but for reasons completely different from the servicemen and women who represent Memorial Day.
I challenge everyone in Ennis to remember what Memorial Day is really all about. Next year, instead of packing the kids in the car for a trip to see grandma or filling the boat with 18 of your closest drinking buddies for some water sport fun on the lake, spend that Monday with a veteran or at a serviceman’s graveside. I promise you that it will be worth the time spent and that other stuff you could have done is always just another weekend away.

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Posted by on May 27 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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