An especailly good time to remember our fallen heroes

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By Ralph Damiani

Monday is Memorial Day. But it should be so much more than a day off from work to picnic with the family and kick-off the summer season. It continues to carry an even greater meaning during a time of war like we are now experiencing.

A sizable number of American soldiers have died in service to their country in the Middle East. And agree or disagree with the actions, do not blame the men and women who are serving and especially those who have died for us.

Memorial Day is a special day set aside for all of us to remember and memorialize the soldiers of many generations who have given their lives so that we are free to enjoy the picnics and trips to the amusement parks with our family.

 Memorial Day began way back in 1868. Shortly after the Civil War, Grand Army of the Republic Commander and Chief John A. Logan sent out an order to create a day for the purpose of decorating the graves of comrades who had died defending the country. For many years, one of the most celebrated events of Memorial Day is the placement of wreaths at the Tombs of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

While Memorial Day is a good time to spend with family and friends as we are off work, out celebrating and enjoying our lives, we should give a moment’s pause to the hundreds of thousands of men and women who gave up their lives in defense of the liberty we sometimes take all too lightly.

For all its troubles and failings, there is no better nation than ours and nothing greater to defend than freedom.

We should and must not forget all those people who gave up everything so we could enjoy our outings in peace.

This year, the local Memorial Day community celebration will be held at Guaje Pines Cemetery on Monday at 11 a.m.  The entire community is welcome to attend. 

The theme is “Honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Enjoy your Memorial Day holiday, but don’t forget to take some time to honor the Americans who have died in defense of our nation.