Friday, May 24, 2013

The least we can do

     Anyone who can’t stand a guilt trip should quit reading this now.

     Americans are about to slam the doors behind them and hit the road for the three-day Memorial Day holiday. It’ll be good for them, good for their families and for the places they’ll visit.

     Others not up for hitting the road or catching a plane headed for a great place will stay home and explore their decks and backyards, some for the first time this spring. They’ll fire up the barbecue and invite a few friends over for dinner or go out to see a movie.

     And why not? Three-day weekend!

     But wait. It’s called Memorial Day weekend for a reason. It’s the weekend America has set aside to honor its military veterans. It’s the weekend the president places a wreath of flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the nation’s capital. It’s the weekend that veterans groups all over the country make sure American flags adorn the graves of our dead and fallen soldiers—brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors.

     In Ketchum and Hailey, veterans groups will host ceremonies at the cities’ respective cemeteries beginning at 11 a.m. Monday to honor the extraordinary service of ordinary Americans—the people who made it possible for us to enjoy a three-day weekend in peace.

     Americans are not the kind of people who flaunt our nation’s military strength with parades of tanks and goose-stepping brigades. Instead, we engage in these quiet ceremonies to acknowledge our debt to those who served and died. So play hard and play long, but wherever you are, show up for a Memorial Day ceremony to show your support and appreciation.

     It’s the least we can do.

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