Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Honor those who died

Memorial Day is on Monday, May 26. This U.S. holiday began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the Civil War. It was officially proclaimed in 1868 and has evolved as a holiday to remember and honor the sacrifices of those who died in all our nation's wars. Equally today, it is a day for all Americans to remember and honor those who've passed before them, their families and friends.

The traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Tradition has been replaced with a three-day weekend of fun in the sun, barbecues and camping. All the while at many cemeteries the graves of the fallen are ignored and neglected. In Hailey, though, there's a small group of us who've not lost sight of honor and tradition. We pride ourselves in decorating over 350 veterans' gravesites with American flags.

While our group of decorators may be small, I've had the privilege over the past four years of seeing our community grow in attendance at the Hailey Memorial Day ceremony. I'm beginning to see that tradition can be restored with a little effort, a lot of pride and community involvement. It's a beautiful sight.

The Hailey Cemetery will be decorated from the evening of Friday, May 23, to the evening of May 26. If you haven't seen it before, or even if you have, please take the time to drive through and take a moment to remember our town's fallen. Let them know you care.

There will be a Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 26, at the Hailey Cemetery at 11 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Let us continue to regain the traditions and the true meaning of Memorial Day together.

Maggie Springer


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