JEFF VRABEL SR.
As we prepare for Memorial Day, we must remember what it is; a day of remembrance. Too often, people look at Memorial Day as just another day off from school, or a day to have a sale, or a day to play baseball. Many say it is the “unofficial” start to summer.
Memorial Day can include these things, but it must include the remembrances of the veterans of the United States military who are no longer with us. Some of these brave men and women left home to defend our country and never returned. Others served, were discharged, and returned to their families to live long and happy lives. No matter how or when or why they are no longer with us, we must remember them.
Memorial Day should be a time of fun and good times, but must remember why we are able to celebrate Memorial Day. We can celebrate because of the sacrifices of America ’s sons and daughters who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country.
So before you go to the half-off sale or the picnic or the baseball game, take some time to go to the ceremonies of your community and honor our military heroes who are no longer with us and have reported to a higher authority. And don’t forget to pause for the National Moment of Remembrance.
The National Moment of Remembrance was established by the United States Congress and asks Americans, no matter where they are at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day to pause for one minute in an act of National Unity. The moment is not meant to replace Memorial Day, but is a way for all Americans, whether with family and friends or alone, to honor those who died for our freedom. This small act will help reclaim Memorial Day as the sacred and noble holiday it was meant to be.
As Americans, we can all share in honoring those who deserve it on Memorial Day.
Jeff Vrabel Sr. of Poland, Ohio, is past commander, Sons of The American Legion.