Memorial Day: Remember their courage and duty

Published 10:40 pm Saturday, May 25, 2024

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The Memorial Day weekend has become a respite from the fast-paced lives we all live. The unofficial start of the summer season, the holiday traditionally gives people a long weekend to rest, regroup and relax, marking the end of the school year and the start of a season of fun.

But Memorial Day’s roots are much deeper than a day off.

Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember the sacrifices our nation’s soldiers have made.

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Tradition has it that Gen. John Logan, the commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, first ordered a Memorial Day in 1868 to remember both Union and Confederate dead. He got the idea from the ladies of the South, so legend has it.

Since then, Memorial Day has given Americans the time to pause and reflect on the sacrifices so many men and women have made in the effort to protect the freedoms and the republic that we enjoy today.

Over the weekend, cemeteries all across the country will be ablaze with tiny American flags honoring service men and women who are buried there. These flags are a small tribute to the sacrifices these men and women made.

Memorial Day’s true meaning is three-fold: duty, honor and courage. Had it not been for the American military through the years, our nation would not be free. The world would not be what it is. Our soldiers had the courage to do their duty. Many of them gave their lives. We honor their memory, their sacrifice, and their lives with our respect.

Here in the Miss-Lou, parades and activities will fill the weekend, including the annual walk across the Mississippi River bridge. It’s a time for celebrations and gatherings.

But we need to remember that we owe our veterans a debt, and we must never forget their struggles have ensured our freedom and our liberty.