Memorial Day is a day set aside for us to remember those who have died in our nation's service. Over the years the meaning of Memorial Day has faded too much from the public consciousness. It was meant to be a solemn day of mourning and remembrance honoring our departed loved ones; it has degenerated into a weekend of cookouts and shopping bargains. While I certainly enjoy the long weekend and the barbeques, we must, however, take time to remember and honor the brave servicemen and women who lost their lives in service to our country.
Farmingdale's wonderful Memorial Day Parade tradition will once again take place this Monday. While I encourage all of you to come out and enjoy the marching bands, fire trucks and the festivities, I hope that you and your families will come to the Village Green immediately following the parade for a brief but very meaningful ceremony. Please bring your children regardless of their ages. They need to understand what this holiday is about and see what sacrifices have been made to allow us to live with the freedoms we have. They need to appreciate the sacrifices that are currently being made by our courageous soldiers and their families. We all need to talk with the veterans who witnessed the bravery of those soldiers who died. We need to hear their stories and pass their lessons on. We cannot take their actions for granted. Please take a few moments on Memorial Day to help us honor and remember our true heroes.
"Your silent tents of green we deck with fragrant flowers; Yours has the suffering been, The memory shall be ours."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow