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Editorial: More Than Just Memorial Day

What first comes to mind when I look at the calendar and see Memorial Day highlighted is, “Yes! A day off from work!”

Yet, I need to remind myself that it’s so much more than that.

We have the opportunity to work because of the millions of servicemen and women who have worked – and died – for the preservation of our free society.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day, which commemorated fallen Union soldiers in the Civil War. With the approaching 2012 Summer Olympic Games, we’ll see an overwhelming patriotic display, yet we shouldn’t need a worldwide spectacle every two years like the Olympics to remind us of our brotherhood as a nation.

On the website, prominently displayed is the following George S. Patton quote: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

While many Americans will enjoy a day at home or at the beach on Monday, those fighting for our country will not. Still, a “day off” can be nothing more than a state of mind, so make a point of commemorating a veteran or soldier on Monday with a care package, a Facebook message or a greeting at your local parade.

And as Memorial Day’s former name suggests, these men and women fighting for that day off deserve to be decorated.   

– CT