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Memorial Day!  A time to say “Thank you” to those who have sacrificed for us.

For some, it has been the sacrifice of their life…often in the prime of theirs.  For others, it has been the loss of a limb, a lifestyle, their health…physical or mental.  Whatever it has been, they lost something for our freedom or that of the people we were committed to help.

We also remember the families who have been affected by these losses…wives, parents, children, friends.  The losses of either life or lifestyle is painful for all.  We appreciate the sacrifice.

In my lifetime, as a member of the baby boom after World War II, I remember the after-effects of that war on my early childhood.  From a distance, I remember the Korean War in the 1950’s.  As a south Florida resident, I remember the influx of Cubans in the 1960’s.  (It didn’t exactly entail a war, but there were some failed attempts included in that history.)

Of course, my high school and college years were overshadowed with the Viet Nam War.  It affected the college and career decisions 0f many of my friends.  Some went to grad school to avoid being drafted, others went the military route and let them pay for their education.

Some survived their military service, others didn’t.  In nurses’ training, I remember the “no marriage” rule being changed when one of my class’ top students married quietly before her fiance went off to Viet Nam.  The school realized that in those circumstances, they were being unreasonable, especially for the women who would make good nurses and wanted to be with their husbands in a marital setting during the period before they went overseas.  It was wise of them to change the rule.

So, another memorial day is passing.  We take part in parades, especially if we live in small towns.  We might even attend ceremonies to honor those who have fallen.  We catch up around our homes.  Sometimes we forget to think about why we have Memorial Day.

Be sure to talk about it with your children and grand-children.  The United States was founded by many great people but if we forget why our country became great, we won’t help the future of our Land.  Putting others before ourselves, being willing to sacrifice myself for the good of others…these are some of the reasons our country became great.  We need to honor those who did that…and still are!