On this day, that has been set aside to honor our Veterans who have died, I feel that Memorial Day has become nothing more than a three-day weekend. For decades, Memorial Day was a day in our nation when stores closed and communities gathered together for a day of parades and other celebrations with a patriotic theme. Memorial Day meant ceremonies at cemeteries around the country, speeches honoring those who served their country, the laying of wreaths and playing Taps. . . not off to the mall, riding dirt bikes out in the sand or laying around watching TV. Sadly, many Americans have lost the connection with their history.
All too many Americans today view military service as an abstraction, as images seen on TV and in the movies. For a growing percentage of American people, Memorial Day has come to mean simply a three-day weekend or a major shopping day. Families might still gather for picnics, but for many of them, the patriotic core - the spirit of remembrance - is absent.
We can all make a difference with our individual acts. When we find a grave that has no flowers, leave one and say a prayer for the family of that person, who for some reason could not bring their soldier or family member flowers. It is important that those of us who understand the importance of our history, who understand the importance of the values of our Army, that we act to help reconnect the American people to the American soldier. Because of soldiers:
1 may think as I please.
1 may speak or write as I please, so long as I do not interfere with the rights of others.
1 have the right to vote. By my vote, I choose the public officers who are really my servants.
1 have the right to choose my work, to seek any job for which my experience and abilities have fitted me.
1 have the right to try to improve my lot through various means.
1 have the right to a prompt trial by jury if I should be accused of a crime.
1 may seek justice in courts where I have equal rights with others.
1 have the privilege of sharing in the benefits of natural resources of my country.
1 may educate my children in free school.
1 have the right to worship as I think best.
1 have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.