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Let's Really Remember On Memorial Day

Take a moment from your activities to reflect on what the holiday really means.

Nobody loves a three-day holiday weekend more than I do. It's an excuse to spend time in New Jersey.

If it's not a visit to Monmouth Park Racetrack and the Sitting Duck Restaurant in Long Branch, N.J. (highly recommended, by the way), it's a visit to the Bradley Beach, N.J. boardwalk (the site of my wedding) and my sister's home for a cookout.

But, there's something about Memorial Day that makes me feel a tad of remorse for indulging in that type of merriment. 

Memorial Day dates back to 1868 as a time to honor those who died in defense of the United States of America on battlefields across the globe. And there have been plenty of those.

American soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice in World Wars I and II. In Korea and  Vietnam. In the first Gulf War and in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Even today, American servicemen and women risk their lives on a daily basis to protect our daily lives and freedoms.

It seems Memorial Day has been commercialized, just like Christmas and every other holiday, with retail stores spouting big sales. Other types of entertainment are offered, so to enjoy time off work. Even some banks decline to close.

Sure, some of us watch the POTUS on television laying the annual wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and then we're off to whatever holiday plans beckon.

I'm just as guilty as everyone else.

Veterans Day in November is now largely ignored. So, all I ask is that tomorrow you take a moment, as I will, to reflect on the freedoms we enjoy as a direct result of the sacrifices other have made and continue to make.

And the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Chuck May 29, 2011 at 12:10 PM
Thank you for this Tom. I am going to read it to my family tonight at dinner.

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