Pay your respects

Published 10:28 am Thursday, May 21, 2009

Memorial Day weekend is now regarded as when summer fun officially begins for millions of Americans as they gather with family and friends to cook out and celebrate.

It is also regarded as some of the biggest days for retail sales outside of the Christmas buying season, with most stores running summer specials to help families herald the coming vacation season.

In all the newspapers, there are stories and pictures about having summer fun and dozens of advertisements announcing Memorial Day sales events. But finding any mention of the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces is difficult.

Few remember that Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the brave men and women who have given their lives to protect our freedom.

It is unfortunate that for most Americans, Memorial Day is simply a long weekend and not a time to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for them and for this nation.

Nobody expects the citizens of the country to spend a three-day weekend mourning our war dead. It would be nice, however, if the citizens of this nation would spend an hour out of this weekend showing their appreciation for the men and women of this nation who have died in battle.

There are events scheduled locally as a tribute to those who have fought and died while protecting our freedom – namely ones in Sunbury (7 p.m. on Saturday), Conway (10 a.m. on Monday) and Jackson (11 a.m. on Monday). Show your support for our military men and women by attending a Memorial Day ceremony or at least taking a moment before lunch on Monday to offer a personal tribute.