Our opinion: Proper respect on Memorial Day

No matter what is happening on this nation’s political and economic fronts — and much is happening — Memorial Day, the holiday we are observing today, should not and does not take a back seat.

Only something truly catastrophic might cast today’s observance into the background, but even then most Americans would pause in respect to what this day represents.

Memorial Day is the day when the nation honors the brave, selfless men and women who gave their lives while in this country’s service. It also is the day each year when Americans put special emphasis on remembering family members and friends who have passed away.

On this day, politicians can continue to rant and rave about one another, as well as the issues of the day, but ignoring the significance of the day might cast a pall over their true character.

Today is a day when they should quiet the rhetoric and extend the respect that is due to those whom the day honors.

Actually, in the eyes of most Americans, today is a refreshing opportunity to be freed from some of the routines of daily life, although many Americans will report to their workplaces as usual.

For many Americans, the unofficial start of the summer recreational season will have to wait until another day when they have their usual weekly days off from their workplace responsibilities.

America’s enemies are watching, even from afar, as people here remember, celebrate, visit family and friends, or join in for the opening of parks and other recreational venues.

Rest assured that many people in those nations perceived as enemies envy the opportunities – important as well as not so important – that living in America provides.

Many of the common people of those “enemy” nations display respect to their leaders not because they prefer to do so but because not doing so would endanger their well-being.

Indeed, participate in today’s Memorial Day activities, if you do not have to report to your job. If your community has a patriotic Memorial Day parade, try to attend it. If there is not one where you live, there might be one in a neighboring town.

Pay respects to the deceased by visiting a cemetery where relatives and friends might be interred, but don’t be shy about expressing awe over the number of small flags that will be flying on the graves of those who served this country in one of the military branches and who perhaps died while in this nation’s service.

After the most important aspects of this holiday are met, yes, perhaps attend a picnic or a backyard cookout – or just relax from the rigors of daily life.

That is a part of what living in a free nation is all about.

Memorial Day 2024: Celebrate it respectfully and carefully and be thankful for the opportunity to live in this great land, whether or not you agree with the politics that otherwise consume people’s attention during most days of the year, or the economic and other issues that remain unresolved on America’s leaders’ plate.


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