Reflections on meaning of Memorial Day
Memorial Day will soon be upon us. Many think of it as the unofficial beginning of summer and a holiday that is uniquely American. I disagree. Though the day does signal the onset of traditional summer activities such as picnics and days at the beach, its true meaning is reverent and somber.
It is a day to remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting for our country. Uniquely American, in a sense, but also observed in other parts of the world. One such place is the village of Margraten, Holland at the American Military Cemetery and Memorial. On Memorial Day each year, hundreds of Dutch men, women and children turn out to honor the men who freed them from the yoke of Nazi tyranny and oppression.
My father-in-law, Cpl. William H. Myers, rests there with 8,301 of his comrades. They are not alone so far from home as each and every grave has been “adopted’ by a Dutch family. They remember our fathers, grandfathers, brothers and uncles on their birthdays, Christmas and other Holidays. This is a duty instilled in and handed down to each new generation.
We as Americans must not forget the true meaning of the day. We must embrace and cherish our freedom and those who have fought and died for it. On Memorial Day the Dutch will honor our war dead and so should we. Fly your flag and take a moment to remember them on that day. Lest we forget.