Memorial Day is the traditional start to summer as folks begin dreaming of vacations, picnics and time in the sun.
“Memorial Day is celebrated in may ways,” said Buck Causey, who served as the keynote speaker at the 2012 Great Bend Memorial Day ceremony. A member of the American Legion Post 180 Legion Riders and a Vietnam War Air Force veteran, he went on to say it was about more than trips to the lake. “It is a day to remember and honor the ones who made our freedom possible – the American Soldier.”
Thousands have died, he said. Countless others were injured, including families devastated by war.
“As you visit the grave of a fallen soldier or meet a soldier wounded from combat, remember they are the legacy of freedom,” he said. “They teach us, our children and our grandchildren the value of sacrifice.”
War is a terrible thing, he said, and the sacrifices tremendous. “Sometimes we ask ourselves ‘why are we in other parts of the world.’ The answer ladies and gentlemen is ‘freedom.’”
He challenged those attending the service last year to thank vets for their service. “Above all, thank God for each brave soldier who gave their life for your freedom.”
Memorial Day takes place on the final Monday of each May and was formerly known as Decoration Day. It originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, it had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.
Many may know service men and woman who are returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. Sadly, we continue to get new crops of vets, all of whom deserve respect and appreciation.
As we gather in Veteran’s Memorial Circle at the Great Bend Municipal Cemetery Monday morning for this year’s installment of the solemn observation, Causey’s words still ring true.