MILLEDGEVILLE — This weekend, as many of us travel to be with family and head to holiday events, let’s also remember the sacrifices that paved the way for these liberties.
Monday is Memorial Day, a national holiday that should provide meaning for us all.
Memorial Day was originally conceived as "Decoration Day," to honor the Civil War dead by adorning their graves with flowers, medals and other objects of esteem. Some 620,000 soldiers on both sides died in this war alone, and Memorial Day, as it is called today, began as a means to pay tribute to them. It later became a holiday to commemorate all American war veterans by visiting the cemeteries of those fallen heroes.
They are men and women who deserve more than our token attention on one given day of the year. They faced the greatest possible fear and conquered it. They bore the ultimate sacrifice in our service. They gave their lives so that we might live in peace and freedom.
At 3 p.m. every Memorial Day, the nation observes a moment of remembrance in tribute to the fallen. Some knew why they were fighting, others did not; they were all placed in extraordinary circumstances so that we might live on in better conditions.
Monday at 11 a.m. at the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery tribute will be paid to these brave men and women and the countless others who came before them during the annual local Memorial Day service. This observance is always well attended, but in reality we should all take part because we are all indebted to their service.
Let us not forget the courageous men and women who bravely wear the uniform of the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard who currently serve.
On Monday, let’s not only enjoy our downtime with family and friends, let’s also recall that Memorial Day is, more importantly, a day of national reconciliation.