Valdosta Daily Times

May 26, 2013

Memorial Day: A solemn occasion

The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — Memorial Day has taken on many meanings through the years. The unofficial start of summer, a day off from work, a day to honor family and friends who have passed away.

But Memorial Day’s true purpose is remembering those Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending and protecting our nation.

Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor American airmen, soldiers, marines, sailors and other servicemen and servicewomen who have died on the fields of America’s wars, who have died fighting for the ideals of the American way.

With hundreds of America’s best having given their all in the past several years in Iraq and Afghanistan, Memorial Day is more immediate for a new generation, which cannot recall the times when this day was marked with solemn parades and hundreds gathered at ceremonies to pay their respects.

Still, today, when the ceremonies are held, there will likely be few people in attendance, though area military personnel have died in these recent wars and in wars past.

So, if you cannot or did not make it to a Memorial Day ceremony, take a few quiet moments today to remember and honor those who paid the price for our freedoms. And say a little prayer for all of those men and women, here and half a world away, who keep our freedoms alive each and every day.