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Honor those who keep us free

This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, but it also represents a solemn day of remembrance those men and women who have fallen or remain missing while courageously serving in our nation’s armed forces.

Memorial Day was once known as Decoration Day and on the first Decoration Day 5,000 participants laid flowers the graves of the 20,000 soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The tradition of remembering those who have fallen in the line of duty or are still declared missing in action, continues to this day. Thousands of volunteers fan out across America’s national cemeteries and work to mark each grave or memorial with an American flag.

In 1971, Congress declared the last Monday in May to be Memorial Day.

We salute those who served in the military and didn’t make it back home, as well as the spouses and families who mourn their lost loved ones.

With the number of local COVID-19 cases drastically declining, we encourage you to take some time to reflect upon the ultimate sacrifice made by tens of thousands of men and women in our armed forces and paying tribute to the people who bravely and selflessly defend our liberty. There are planned events locally on Monday in the Roanoke-Chowan area. We have been advised of two such Memorial Day services: one in front of the Northampton County Courthouse in Jackson, and the other in front of the Murfreesboro Municipal Building. Both begin at 11 a.m. For those still uneasy about the COVID virus, wear a mask and make sure you are socially distanced from others.

If you decide not to attend, set aside some time on Monday to pause and reflect on what freedom means to you and the brave men and women who “gave their all” to ensure that you are able to freely enjoy everything that life has to offer within our great nation.

Use the time to take your children to a local venue that hails the efforts of those brave soldiers. Share with them that there were those who opted to lay down their lives in order for us to live in freedom today. Teach them that freedom really isn’t free…it was paid for in blood.

There are war memorials located on the courthouse grounds in Jackson and Windsor; in front of the Murfreesboro Municipal Building; adjacent to the Town Hall in Conway; and at No Man’s Land Park on Main Street in downtown Ahoskie.

If there’s someone in your family who died in battle, visit their grave, plant a flag, and pay your respects.

Nobody’s obligated to honor our war dead on Memorial Day. You get the day off. What a wonderful country. Thank goodness for that freedom.

So why not use a small portion of Monday to pay respect to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and in return paid-in-full our continuing freedom.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald

 

 

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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