Contrary to popular belief, Monday is not a holiday to commemorate the beginning of barbecue season.
It's Memorial Day, the day we Americans honor our fallen soldiers.
The day honors neither right nor wrong. After all, the day traces its historical origins to the Civil War, when brother fought brother. Instead, the day honors the warrior spirits of the men and women who take up arms on behalf of a free people.
With America mired in Iraq, this Memorial Day will be one of acute, not dulled pain for many families who lost loved ones there. It will be one of acute stress for families whose sons and daughters are trying to keep the peace in the streets of Baghdad where suicide bombers and homemade explosives are everyday threats.
To honor the fallen is also to honor the families who have and will sacrifice the nearness and comfort of their loved ones for this nation, temporarily or forever.
Memorial Day ceremonies are scheduled at both the Ketchum and Hailey cemeteries. At 10:45 a.m. in Ketchum, A-10 Warthogs will fly over before ceremonies begin at 11 a.m. Hailey ceremonies will begin at 11 a.m.
The ceremonies are too often sparsely attended by former members of the military and a few families. That's a shame.
The Wood River Valley's enterprises and families can exist only in a free nation where streets are not battlegrounds. The least every citizen can do is to devote an hour to honor those who put their lives on the line to give each and every one of us the gift of freedom.
So, take yourselves, take your kids, take your friends to honor America's soldiers and their families on Memorial Day.