A Day To Remember

As we are inundated this weekend with advertisements for bed sales, car sales and myriad other Memorial Day sales and bargains, many Americans will also stop and remember those in uniform that have gone before us.  They, and their families, gave the ultimate sacrifice across our history in order to make our nation what it is today and to secure our freedoms.

This year is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.  We celebrated Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) earlier this month and we will celebrated Victory in Japan Day (VJ Day) on 2 September. There used to be a federal holiday celebrating Victory Day, but now only Rhode Island commemorates the holiday and it is mainly observed in passing with a small note in the news.

Today’s Washington Post has a wonderful piece on an American cemetery in Margraten, Netherlands.  The Dutch have never forgotten the sacrifices made by the 8300 Americans laid to rest there.  For generations, the Dutch, and a few Belgians, have adopted a headstone and cared for each and every one of those grave sites.  Indeed, there is a waiting list for people who would like to “adopt” a gravestone to care for it.  They take their responsibility seriously and often the care of a given headstone and burial plot is passed down through the years within the same family.  Yesterday, 6000 people gathered to observe Memorial Day at the cemetery.  An American holiday.  In Holland.  They have not forgotten.

As I write this in the comfort and safety of home, other Americans are on the front lines risking, and sadly losing, their lives so that we remain safe.

As we enjoy a day off from work, or a picnic or a boat ride, please take a moment to remember.  So many have given so much for all of us.  Thank you.