Memorial Day Honors

To the Editor:

Memorial Day honors the sacrifices made for a more peaceful world.

Many Americans associate Memorial Day with the start of summer or mega sales. But like it or not coffins, crosses and gravestones are sober reminders of what Memorial Day and war are all about.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, then national commander of the Grand Army or the Republic. It was first observed on May 30, 1868. On that day to remember all fallen soldiers of the Civil War, flowers were placed on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery.

On Memorial Day 2019 at thousands of cemeteries across the United States of America and worldwide, Americans will honor fallen comrades and loved ones. These service members sacrificed their lives for their country, their families, their God or other personal beliefs, trusting their cause was just.

As an Army veteran, I have always held Memorial Day and Veterans Day as sacred. These are days of which I open history books and quietly reflect on the purpose of war and its terrible consequences. War is mainly about suffering and death, both civilian and military.

As an Army veteran, and the son of a World War II Navy Seabee’s decorated sailor, I try to understand war and its consequences from both sides.

It is most important to recognize that the ultimate sacrifice by so many can be worth the price only if war ends with a just peace and the willingness to overcome hatred with lasting cooperation and ultimately, friendship.

America’s military, especially the World War II generation, have proven that it’s possible to conclude a major war with a balanced peace and successful reconstruction. In 2004 the World War II veterans were honored with the dedication of their memorial in Washington D.C.

And, while we honor their accomplishments, we must not forget the men and women who willingly have served since. This includes those who joined America’s ideals from other countries, earning the right to become fellow citizens. They, too, gave it their all, believing we committed them for just causes in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm, the Balkans, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

We must also remember our responsibilities to all who have served by caring for our sick and wounded veterans.

On Memorial Day 2019 let’s stand and salute all warriors who’ve given their lives believing our nation sent them to fight for a righteous cause. Ensure their sacrifices have not been made in vain; they made a more peaceful world for future generations.

Reginald Holmes

Sutton, Vt.

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