Keep Memorial Day sacred

Published 8:12 pm Saturday, May 26, 2018

For many people, Memorial Day is merely a day off work, a chance to score a discount on a car or a mattress or an excuse to go to a cookout.

But Memorial Day is America’s most solemn occasion, and we must all work year after year to rescue it from commercialism and merriment.

Memorial Day commemorates those members of the U.S. military who have given the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of freedom.

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Since the Revolutionary War, more than 1.3 million Americans have died in service to their country. An additional 40,000-plus are labeled as missing in action.

Those people will be honored on Monday with two events in Suffolk. The events will take place at 9 a.m. at the Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, 5310 Milners Road, and at 11 a.m. at Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Each event is sponsored by an American Legion post and other organizations of military veterans and supporters and will feature a speaker who is a veteran or active-duty military.

On this Memorial Day, plan to sleep in a bit, relax and attend the cookouts. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But you should also take a few moments to pay tribute to those who have given their lives for your freedom, whether that’s by attending one of the two events happening in Suffolk, learning a bit about the history of Memorial Day or about one of the individuals who has died in service to this country, or pausing during your cookout not only to offer thanks for the food but also to pray for the families who still suffer grief every day.

That’s what Memorial Day is all about.