Tribune Opinion: Memorial Day is a time to remember those who sacrificed
Summary: At 3 p.m. local time Monday, all Americans are asked to pause for a minute of silence in remembrance and honor of those who have died serving America.
"Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them." — President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
It is Memorial Day Weekend — time for the first big summer weekend, the start of traditional family vacations and the traditional Indianapolis 500 race. But what is the real purpose of Memorial Day — of this particular day of the year?
Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May each year to honor the American military personnel who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom in the United States.
The tradition of Memorial Day began in the late 1860s when both southern and northern communities gathered for a nationwide day of remembrance — which became known as Decoration Day — to honor the dead of the Civil War. Following World War I, this remembrance day became more commonly known as Memorial Day to commemorate all U.S. military personnel who died in all wars. Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971 designated as the last Monday of May.
Each war has brought loss and grief to someone lost in military service in many of our communities. We should be thankful for their lives and sacrifice.
"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived," said Gen. George Patton.
To those families who have lost a family member in the wars of the past or in recent conflicts, we are sorry for your loss. We honor their sacrifice.
To those who have served and lost a friend or fellow service member, we are sorry for your loss. We will not forget their sacrifice.
To those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives in the services of our country, we remember.
As Americans, each of us has a responsibility to honor and remember the U.S. military personnel who sacrificed their own lives to protect America and our freedoms.
Their sacrifice grants each of us the privilege of living in the United States and to enjoy every one of our freedoms. And it truly is a privilege.
In many communities across west central Minnesota, there are commemorative gatherings, services and parades. We urge all residents to take time this weekend to attend the local Memorial Day event in your community and remember. A list of west central Minnesota Memorial Day services is included in the West Central Tribune today.
By order of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, flags on Memorial Day are to be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon, and then raise to the top of the staff until sunset.
Let us all take a moment of silence to remember and honor the sacrifices of thousands of men and women. At 3 p.m. local time Monday, we urge you to stop whatever you are doing and pause to remember and honor the fallen at the National Moment of Remembrance. Designated by Congress in 2000, all Americans are asked to pause for a minute of silence in remembrance and honor of those who have died serving America.
This Tribune Opinion editorial is the opinion of the West Central Tribune editorial board, consisting of editor Kelly Boldan and publisher Steve Ammermann.