Observing Memorial Day, for the right reasons



By Thomas Garcia

QCS Senior Writer

The barbecue grills were fired up, families gathered, area lakes were packed with visitors and in some areas graduations were held all because of those who served, those who made the ultimate sacrifice and those brave men and women who continue to fight for our right, liberties and freedom today.

When I was younger, I thought of Memorial Day as just another three-day holiday.

It wasn’t until I learned about the proud line of veterans in my family that I began to understand the nature and importance of Memorial Day.

Without the service of our veterans and the continued service of the brave men and women of our military nothing we hold sacred would be safe.

Much of my family who served didn’t like to talk about their time in the military. The same can be said about many of my friends who are veterans.

I try not to pry and respect their wishes but I hope they know my interest isn’t due to morbid curiosity. It is out of a deep-seated respect and admiration that I ask about their service to our country.

The wars, conflicts and skirmishes that our great nation has been in since our founding days always have been subjects of discussion. Be it for historical, political or even personal opinion, our nation’s battles have long been talked about.

Be it about the soldiers who fought the battles, the sides for which they battled, the men who led those battles and the manner in which they were won.

I think it is important to remember those battles, their outcomes and the soldiers who fought for our nation. It is through those battles — and because of those soldiers — that we are able to enjoy the freedoms we sometimes take for granted.

Some people still had to work this Memorial Day and some were spending the weekend with their families. Though I know there were a lot of people at the lakes, I hope that for a moment during the weekend they took some time to reflect on what the weekend’s true meaning is all about.

I know this past weekend is viewed often as the unofficial start to the summer, although its meaning is so much deeper.

Among all the items people packed for their three-day weekend, I can’t help but wonder if an American flag was among them. In all the planning that was done and events planned for the holiday excursion, was there some time set aside to honor those to whom the weekend paid tribute?

I can’t help but wonder in a few months whether people will be ready to celebrate our nation’s birthday. Or will it be just another weekend of barbecue, lake time and fireworks?

Thomas Garcia is a senior writer at the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at tgarcia@qcsunonline.com

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