This Memorial Day, it’s extremely important to remember exactly what it is we are celebrating, and try to never lose sight of it.
From The Spokesman-Review
Allison Jaslow heard it more than once as the long holiday weekend approached – a cheerful “Happy Memorial Day!” from oblivious well-wishers.
The former Army captain and Iraq War veteran had a ready reply, telling them, matter-of-factly, that she considered it a work weekend. Jaslow will be at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday to take part in the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
She’ll then visit Section 60, the final resting place of many service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“You can see it in people’s faces that they’re a little horrified that they forget this is what the day’s about,” said Jaslow, 34, who wears a bracelet bearing the name of a fallen comrade. “Culturally, we’ve kind of lost sight of what the day’s supposed to mean.”
While millions of Americans will be celebrating and enjoying the weekend as the unofficial start of the summer, it’s important to remember what the the holiday is all about.
“It’s a fun holiday for people: ‘Let’s party.’ It’s an extra day off from work,” said Carol Resh, 61, whose son, Army Capt. Mark Resh, was killed in Iraq a decade ago. “It’s not that they’re doing it out of malice. It just hasn’t affected them.”
Veterans groups say a growing military-civilian disconnect contributes to a feeling that Memorial Day has been overshadowed. More than 12 percent of the U.S. population served in the armed forces during World War II.
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That’s down to less than one-half of a percent today, guaranteeing more Americans aren’t personally acquainted with a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine.
Have a great Memorial Day, and let’s not forget the many fallen American heroes that paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country and for liberty.