Taking time for the fallen

Richard A Damschen, Jr., Robert Frank Wright, Wade Russell Reaume, Scott Eugene Sutherland, Christopher Bunda, Johnny C. Walls. Those are just a few of the names of the brave men who from Bremerton who have made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom on foreign soil.

They along with all those who fell during World War I, World War II, the Korean War and every other military engagement our nation has been involved in are the reason for Memorial Day.

Flags will be flown at half-staff on Monday until noon when they are raised to full-staff in a custom symbolic of how America never gives up and its people always find a way to overcome even the greatest odds.

Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts will place flags on the graves of those who have served in the military over the years and who are now finally at peace in preparation for one of the most solemn days of the year.

Yes, it is a three-day weekend with plenty of time for barbecues, fishing trips and the like, but in today’s society the real meaning of the day is lost in the exuberant celebrations and the commercialism of the massive sales and advertising campaigns geared around the American flag and false patriotism.

All one has to do is look at the number of Americans who attend Memorial Day ceremonies like the one at Miller-Woodlawn and it’s obvious that the large majority of Americans either don’t care or are simply too busy to take a few moments out of their weekends to remember the fallen, who died so three-day weekends could be a reality.

Even though the Veterans for Peace organization aired its opposition to the Iraq war at the Armed Forces Day events last weekend and were denied entry into the parade by the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce, at least the members of that group care enough for all of our nation’s servicemen and women to speak up and make their opinions known.

Whether troops agree with them or not at least there are visible signs of support from a small group of Americans who acknowledge the sacrifices being made. Wouldn’t be great if every American expressed their views in such a public manner?

Many of our readers have loved ones who have served in the Armed Forces during times of peace and times of war, so no one is totally unlinked to the fallen. Each of us is connected in one way or another, so shouldn’t we all do our part and pause for a moment of silence and remembrance on Monday or sometime during this weekend?

Celebrate until your heart’s content and your belly is full, and in doing so, take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who gave their all so the rest of us can life in land of the free because of the brave. It’s the least we can do to keep the memorial in Memorial Day.

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