It’s been a while now since stories about war have been lead-news items in the national media. For most Americans, their main worries lie in economic and other domestic issues. But for those who have had a loved one die while serving in the military, war is more than just another issue; it’s a cold reality. And they’re reminded of their loss every day. That’s why Memorial Day is observed — so they don’t have to mourn alone.
Unfortunately, because Memorial Day is considered a prelude to the summer season, many Americans think of it in the shallowest terms: as a day off from work or school — a three-day weekend — and a time to throw a backyard barbecue party. While there’s nothing wrong with a Memorial Day barbecue in itself (it is pretty much tradition, after all), there’s everything wrong with not giving any thought to the very reason you’re free to enjoy the day.
Remember: There are many others whose first thought that day is of the person they love who made the ultimate sacrifice to this country. It isn’t asking too much to take some time out from the festivities to reflect on the meaning of the day and imagine what life is like for military families. Memorial Day is not just for the fallen soldiers, but also for the mothers, fathers, wives, husbands and children they left behind. It is only appropriate to show them respect by showing your thanks and appreciation for their loved one’s service.
Memorial Day is not a time for politics or debating the costs of war. It’s a day for Americans from all walks of life to come together to show that they respect and appreciate the brave men and women who comprise our military. This Memorial Day, we ask you to take some time to honor those who have died in service to our country by visiting one of the two observances planned in the western communities:
• Wellington and the American Legion Chris Reyka Memorial Wellington Post 390 will honor all veterans on Monday, May 28 with a Memorial Day Parade starting at 8:15 a.m. at the Wellington Community Center. The parade will march along Forest Hill Blvd. from the community center to the Wellington Veterans Memorial at South Shore Blvd., where the Memorial Day Ceremony will take place at 8:30 a.m. This is 30 minutes earlier than last year’s ceremony.
• Royal Palm Beach will host a Memorial Day Observance on Monday, May 28 at 9 a.m. in Veterans Park on Royal Palm Beach Blvd. The Honor Guard from Jewish War Veterans Post 684, American Legion Auxiliary Post 367, Boy Scout Troop 111, Mayor Matty Mattioli and local dignitaries will lead the ceremony. Refreshments prepared by Butterfields Café will be served by Young at Heart Club volunteers following the rifle salute.