Because Memorial Day is a national holiday and most people have that
day off from work, it may be tempting to sleep in late and let the day
pass without taking a brief moment or a few minutes to stop and honor the men and women who the day honors. Many will fire up the grill and cook hamburgers and hotdogs as Memorial Day is often thought of as the official start of the summer season. Others will take advantage of a day to catch up on errands, get some late spring cleaning done, shop, or even sleep. Whatever the plans are for the day, some time should be set aside to pay reverence for each and every soldier and sailor that has lost their life in order to preserve American freedom.
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died serving in the armed forces of the United States. Since 1868, May 30th has been designated as a day to honor the fallen heroes who gave their lives while serving their country. Changing the day of celebration to the last Monday in May has allowed many to join in the celebration that might not otherwise have had the opportunity.
This year, Memorial Day is celebrated on Monday, May 25th. A memorial service at the Dalhart Memorial Cemetery is scheduled at 10:00 a.m. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend the service and show their support for fallen servicemen and women and for families who have lost a service member.
This year’s services will be presided over by Rev. Steve Patterson, Pastor of Central United Methodist Church. Each year a local pastor speaks to those who gather in remembrance of fallen service members. This year’s Master of Ceremonies is Bob Langhorne.
In taking a moment to consider what it means to be free, many thoughts come to mind. Freedom is being able to vote and choose leaders, being able to go to work and earn a living, being able to choose to send a child to a public or private school, being able to choose to have a child, being able to select which church to attend or not attend at all, being able to choose from thousands of items in a grocery store any day of the week, being able to surf the net while watching television and talking on a cell phone, being able to go to bed at night feeling certain that bombs won’t blast overhead during the night, being able to walk in town without fear of dying at the hands of an opposing political party radical.
Freedom is safety from oppression, safety from servitude, safety from illiteracy, safety from tyranny, safety from the fears that plague most of the world. Without people willing to travel to the other side of the world, leaving their families behind, to serve in the United States Military, freedom is less a certainty and more a concept. Without those who have fought the good fight, those who have slept endless nights in foxholes or on the desert sands, or those who said “Yes, sir!” rather than “Not me!” freedom would surely die. Instead, it rings, rings loudly, boldly and steadfastly.
Don’t let freedom ring without at least taking time to join in a brief ceremony to honor those who ensure that freedom rings in the first place. Take a stand, stand tall and stand proud and be one of those people who will be able to say on Tuesday morning, “I honored the fallen yesterday and it felt great!”