A day off from work, but remember why itís here
Back in 1888, Civil War veterans groups were miffed because fewer Americans were visiting the graves of slain soldiers on Memorial Day. Rather, they were having picnics or going to parades, horse races and the like. In fact, President Grover Cleveland even took it on the chin when he decided to go fishing.
Today, too, people forget that the day was meant to honor those who died for their country while in the armed forces. Instead, it is noted, the day is a celebration of the coming of summer, part of a three-day weekend when people search out bargains in stores or enjoy themselves in a variety of leisurely pursuits.
Backyard barbecues, pool openings and school vacationsÖ Memorial Day marks more than the beginning of summer across the nation. In fact, for years and years, the day was a day of rancor, a time when the nation relived the Civil War. The South celebrated Confederate Memorial Day, and the North celebrated Decoration Day. Speeches were mainly about the iniquities of the other side.
This business of using Memorial Day to get angry about past battles is essentially behind us now. Is recognizing the ultimate sacrifice of men and women in uniform also behind us?
Throughout the history of civilization, men and women of good will have honored their war dead. They have paid homage to those who went into harms way when their country called. If we expect future generations to answer the call of duty, this is a tradition that must be preserved.
While there is nothing wrong with people having a good time on Memorial Day, it is also crucial to remember these sacrifices, for out of these memories we construct our identity, and we build values that have enduring meaning. If the president wants to go fishing, thatís okay. But itís not okay to shirk remembering on a day set aside for remembering.
Recognizing those whose lives were cut short for the benefit of the rest of us is one part of the Memorial Day tradition that should live on. Remember those who paid the price. Whether we are veterans or not, all of us have a duty to do what we can do to pass on to the next generation the blessings of liberty and an appreciation for the values of patriotism, honesty, charity, civility and diligence.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
International-Matex Tank Terminals, which operates a terminal in St. Rose, will be...
The Krewe of Zeus will resubmit an application to parade through Ormond Boulevard...
Allie Stevens was a strange sight to see as he lugged a 400-pound rickshaw along...
The St. Charles Parish Housing Authority has been ordered to repay more than...
Less than three months after opening a state-of-the-art cardiac catheter lab that...
After months of bickering within the Hahnville Volunteer Fire Department...
Today's Car Care is the name people trust when it comes to outstanding tires and automotive service in the River Region and beyond.
Lawsuit threatened if School Board continues prayer - 2182 views
The St. Charles Parish School Board is facing a potential lawsuit from a Wisconsin-based non-profit organization because they used Godís name in resolutions and continue to host a public prayer before School Board meetings.