Take A Moment To Remember The Meaning Of Memorial Day

In a week marred by continuing revelations of a scandal in the Department of Veterans Affairs, the entire country is getting a better look at what our men and women who put their lives on the line for our country deal with each day.

From hospital overcrowding and alarmingly long wait times, to a system that falsifies information, taking advantage of veterans for its own gain — years of allegations and hidden information came to light this week as the Department of Veterans Affairs ordered an audit of all its healthcare facilities across the country.

It’s a fitting topic to be on the minds of citizens as we prepare to mark Memorial Day on Monday, remembering and honoring those men and women who died in service to our country. The holiday is a day of remembrance, of taking just a moment to think of all the people who have sacrificed their lives so you can continue to live yours.

For many Americans, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer, celebrated with barbecues and family gatherings. Although there’s nothing wrong with a Memorial Day barbecue, it’s important to take the time to remember why it is you’re free to celebrate that day. It’s not too much to ask for each of us to take a moment and give thanks to those who lost their lives, as well as the family members and loved ones of those soldiers who have suffered such great loss.

There are many — too many — families out there who will wake up that day not to enjoy food and friends, but to mourn the loss of a family member. Memorial Day is an opportunity to show the loved ones of those lost that they are not alone. We mourn with them.

Though the VA scandal is unfortunate, if there is a silver lining in a 24-hour news cycle dominated by the topic, let it be that everyone across the nation remembers to stop and give thanks to our fallen brethren.

If you want to pay tribute to those who have died in service to our country, we strongly encourage you to visit one of the two observances planned here in the western communities:

• The Village of Wellington will honor all veterans on Monday, May 26 with a Memorial Day Parade starting at 8:15 a.m. at the Wellington Municipal Complex. 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.

• The Village of Royal Palm Beach will host a Memorial Day Observance on Monday, May 26 at 9 a.m. at Veterans Park on Royal Palm Beach Blvd. The morning will feature American Legion Post 367, Boy Scout Troop 111, the national anthem sung by Lexi Luca, and speeches by local dignitaries and veterans.