Out of My Mind 32

Memorial Day more than a holiday

Each year members of our local American Legions, familiesand friends gather at area cemeteries to share in remembering those who gavetheir lives in service to their country.

While at the G-T I’ve been to ceremonies in Tonasket, Loomisand Oroville. One thing that springs to mind is how few younger people arepresent. And those people who do attend seem to be getting older as the yearsgo by. At Oroville’s Riverview Cemetery this year there were a few young peopleand other than the Boy Scouts, maybe a kid or two, but not nearly as many asthere should be for the sacrifices that the occasion commemorates.

At the ceremony at the Riverview, Oroville’s Ken Lee, who isAmerican Legion Commander for Washington State this year, said, “Memorial dayis not about sales, beaches or picnics, it’s a time to remember our fallenheroes.”

Perhaps rather than letting school out for the day, it mightbe better to bring the kids to participate in the ceremony. My hope is thatwhile everyone was enjoying their three-day weekend at least at some point lastMonday they stopped and considered what the day is really about. Even if you’renot a veteran, everyone knows someone who served and many of us know someonewho paid the ultimate price to protect our freedoms and values. My other hopeis that the concept that there are things worth giving ones life for is passeddown to the younger generation and that asking someone to make that ultimatesacrifice should never be taken lightly or forgotten.