Letter: A Day to Remember

To the Editor:

I once heard someone say, “Happy Memorial Day.” It struck me as odd, since this is the day on which we honor and remember those who gave their lives defending our country — you know, us. It shouldn’t be a happy day. It should be a day filled with reverence, thoughtfulness, and a time to ponder history and the brave souls who made this country possible.

In today’s commercialized society, amidst the hype of Memorial Day sales, the Indy 500 and barbecues, the meaning of the day can get lost. This is not acceptable. By all means, enjoy the long weekend. Our heroes who have passed on would want it that way. Just please, as you grill your burger, watch the race and go shopping, take a moment to give thanks to those who have kept us safe, even when they could not save themselves.

In 1986, at Arlington National Cemetery, President Reagan said this: “I was thinking this morning that across the country children and their parents will be going to the town parade and the young ones will sit on the sidewalks and wave their flags as the band goes by. Later, maybe, they’ll have a cookout or a day at the beach. And that’s good, because today is a day to be with the family and to remember.”

Our war veterans are the greatest of Americans, and on Memorial Day we honor and remember them. Tell someone a story about a veteran, or ask someone if they know any.

Rep. Steven Smith