Keep the meaning  of Memorial Day

Published 8:25 pm Friday, May 27, 2022

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Memorial Day is a solemn national holiday that, like many other days of remembrance, and for reasons both seasonal and societal, has had its meaning largely subsumed.

Don’t let it be.

We cast an eye toward both the somber ceremonies taking place and the ongoing commitment of many of our fellow citizens. We have our share of important symbols to their sacrifices made here in Suffolk and encourage you to visit one.

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We heartily recommend the annual ceremony at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery at 10 a.m. Monday. David Buchy, commander of American Legion Post 88, will serve as master of ceremonies, and the keynote speaker will be U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Scott A. Beeson. Members of the Horton Wreath Society will continue their tradition of placing American flags on all graves prior to the ceremony. Even if you can’t attend the ceremony, take a ride out to the cemetery this holiday weekend, soak in one of the most beautiful scenes you’ll see in Suffolk, and take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of those whose graves are marked.

Also at 11 a.m., American Legion Norman R. Matthews Post 57 will conduct its annual Memorial Day observation of placing memorial wreaths at the war memorial markers at 11 a.m. in Cedar Hill Cemetery. Visitors are encouraged to use the entrance on Mahan Street.

Whatever you do on Monday, we urge you to guard against the inertia and blissful ignorance afforded us by having our all-volunteer armed forces and a modern style of warfare that sometimes conceals the magnitude of their challenge. Don’t allow Monday to be entirely about the finishing of school years, opening of pools and shopping for bargains. Take more than a cursory pause between bites of barbecue and leaps off the diving board.

Memorial Day was actually initiated as a way to honor those who died fighting the Civil War, but it was rightfully expanded to encompass all American casualties.

As we increasingly stand divided, a time to honor those who gave their lives to defend our freedom and the principles of our democracy is even more meaningful. Men and women have found common cause in more trying times than these and given everything to ensure we are able to maintain our way of life and form of government.