For Some It’s Just A Long Weekend, But This Is Really Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

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Memorial Day is upon us again. 

On Monday May 28, 2018, ceremonies will take place in every city, town and village across this vast country. There will be the pomp and circumstance of dignified military services with Honor Guards and Color Guards, the firing of rifle salutes, the flag raisings with the traditional lowering of the flag to half staff. 

This day is intended to bring us all together as a nation to honor and to remember those who have fallen in defense of this nation over the years.

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It’s important to understand why we observe Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is not just another in a series of national three-day holiday weekends. On Memorial Day, we are challenged to come together, united in our love of this country and remember the cost of our citizenship in this great nation. 

Our country was rooted in the soil of great ideals, ideals of freedom. Those ideals of freedom that the Founding Fathers put into the Constitution, with its Preamble, are not easy to maintain. They demand much of us. They demand our commitment to citizenship. To be maintain those ideals of freedom requires our constant attention and commitment for they are not guaranteed. 

They must be well understood, and sometimes they must be defended with our lives. 

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We remember the fallen on Memorial Day.

Every Memorial Day, we are called upon to come together in our common citizenship to remember and to honor those who took their duties as citizens of this country to protect and defend the Constitution to the ultimate level. We honor their sacrifices and show them our respect through our collective desire to remember them on this day each year.

Our freedoms are not free. Our freedoms carry with them the very real duties and responsibilities of citizenship. They demand a cost from all of us at one time or another. That cost comes sometimes in the form of our commitment to vote in an educated and thoughtful manner. Sometimes it may come through our voluntary service to those who are needy among us, because of natural disasters, or because of economic circumstances. 

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Members of the U.S. Navy prepare a flag for a memorial service.

Because of the realities of the world we live in, some have been called to put on the uniforms of our United States military and many of them have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms with their lives. 

They are the ones we remember on Memorial Day.  

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Service members lay one of their own to rest.

The Veterans Site encourages all of you to enjoy your barbeques and picnic this Memorial Day. But we also encourage you to take time out on this coming Monday to attend a Memorial Day ceremony in your city or town with your family. Take the young ones there.  Let them hear the speeches, see the Colors flying.  Let them experience the solemn pomp of military honors. 

Tell them in your own words why this day is important.  

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.
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