Veterans deserve our praise

Published 11:26 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Where were you Monday? Where did you spend your Memorial Day?

Did you spend it on the river enjoying time skiing, swimming or fishing? Did you spend time at the beach with friends and family, taking full advantage of the three-day weekend?

If you did any of those things, or if you did something completely different, including working, then you should go up to a veteran and thank them. If you spent time with friends grilling out in the backyard while enjoying a cold beverage on Monday, then you should go up to a veteran, shake their hand and thank them. In fact, the simple ability for those of us living in the United States to live the lives we choose, do the things we do, worship at the church, synagogue or mosque of our choice and speak our mind is all thanks to our veterans.

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And for those facts alone, they deserver our deepest heartfelt appreciation. Monday, more than 100 turned out for the Memorial Day ceremony at Memorial Stadium to remember, not just our veterans, but specifically those who did not make it home, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

In the afternoon a few dozen turned out for a ceremony at Selma City Hall where a moment of silence was marked at 3 p.m. to honor those who would never come home to a ticker-tape parade or the arms of a welcoming family.

Our veterans — both alive and fallen — are among the greatest credits to our way of life. They gave of themselves to protect the people they do not know and those they would never know.

Memorial Day is a day we remember those who died, but it should not be that alone. It is a day we honor the patriotic spirit those veterans — those fallen heroes — had to do what was necessary so that we could spend time with our families, grill in the backyard and enjoy an afternoon on the river.