05/26/08 — Not just a day off: Today’s holiday is a time to reflect on courage, sacrifice

View Archive

Not just a day off: Today’s holiday is a time to reflect on courage, sacrifice

Because a group of people wanted to make sure no one forgot that today is a special day to remember heroes, Wayne County children are not in class today.

They are, instead, home with their families, either marking the day or simply enjoying a mini-vacation with their loved ones.

Many probably are not thinking about what their day off means or why it was so important that they will be going to class for half a day this coming weekend.

It is important that we tell them.

So, today’s message is for every young person in Wayne County — and a few older ones as well.

Here’s why you should put your hand on your heart and remember to thank heroes today.

Memorial Day is the day this nation sets aside to remember those who served their country and who have not come home to their families.

Those sacrifices were usually from decades past — and covered battles that were recorded in history books — until this year.

Today, we also honor the more than 4,000 airmen, sailors, Marines and soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq within the last five years.

Many of them were very young, and some of them left families with children who will never be lucky enough to really know their moms or dads.

They join a collection of heroes from wars across the decades.

Their losses are significant, painful and a sign that there are still men and women willing to risk their lives to keep this nation — and other nations — free.

And all that we are asked to do in return, is to never, ever forget their sacrifices, and always to protect and love the country and the freedom they gave their lives protecting.

Memorial Day is now — and most assuredly will be in the future — a day off school for Wayne County schoolchildren. They will be asked to remember the day at home with their families.

But it is also important to remind them of the lessons of the heroes who have come before them — the generations of the past and those of the future who have put and will put aside their own lives to serve millions of people they might never even meet.

They could learn a lot from the stories of courage, of bravery and of those who put others’ lives before their own on the battlefield. They could learn something about sacrifice and loss. So, too, could we all.

Take time today to remember, to honor and to vow never to take freedom for granted — too high a price has been paid for it. This is the day to say thank you.

Published in Editorials on May 26, 2008 11:18 AM