Planning to remember

At this reading another Memorial Day will have been celebrated both locally and across the nation.

On Friday many people were preparing for the extended weekend. Some took the day to travel to their cabins, others were preparing to go fishing or for a barbecue. For area veterans in the American Legion and the VFW, they spent part of Friday evening preparing to remember their fallen comrades.

At St. Wenceslaus Cemetery, veterans were busy putting small U.S. flags alongside gravesites of those who served and those who gave all. The veterans included those who fought in the Civil War up to those who had served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam or other conflicts.

This was something I’ve covered before, the last time a year or two ago. It was a nice evening and veterans would call out a name as they placed a flag by a gravesite, to make sure the person’s name was marked off. There was something humbling in hearing those names and realizing how many had given years, or their life, to pay back the country where they were born or had become their home.

While some seem to want to regulate Memorial Day to thanking those who gave their lives in battle, and they do deserve our utmost respect, we must remember that Memorial Day is for all veterans. It’s for those veterans who lost a limb in battle or served in peace time. It’s for the veterans who struggled after their service. It’s also for all veterans who came home. To all veterans, whether your service was recent or many years ago, thank you.