I went to the afternoon Memorial Day observance at the Madison Veterans Memorial Park. It’s a nice space, overlooking meadows and woodlands. There is a cluster of flags at the center, and a space covered by an iron structure which could house a roof or at least a large tarpaulin.
The ceremony was conducted by a local VFW post. It was dignified and well executed. Besides the participants, about fifty people were in attendance.
Why do we do this? Why do we take time out of a glorious weekend, the start of summer, to remember our dead?
Could that be it? Could it be that simple? Remembering the dead?
We live our lives in a country, in a society, that is radically free. But free does not mean free of charge. In every generation, some people pay the price. They lay down their lives, sometimes in excruciatingly difficult ways, for the freedom we enjoy.
It seems fitting, at least for a few minutes one day a year, to remember them.
If we do not do this, how can we be worthy of this gift they have given us?
Larry F. Sommers, Your New Favorite Writer
Author of Price of Passage—A Tale of Immigration and Liberation.
Price of Passage
Norwegian Farmers and Fugitive Slaves in Pre-Civil War Illinois
(History is not what you thought!)