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Remembering our heroes

by 2nd Lt. Larry van der Oord
Chief of Internal Information

It almost seems somewhat fitting that the origins of Memorial Day lay a bit in question. Many stories exist as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns claiming to be the birthplace of Memorial Day.

It's no surprise that so many want to be associated with such a noble day- a day set aside in remembrance for those who gave their lives in service to our country.

The sacrifices made by the thousands of our nation's fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines have enabled us to become accustom to the lifestyles which we live today.

We can never repay those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We can never tell them how deeply indebted we are for their valor and courage in battle. But we can, however, help preserve their legacy by never forgetting what they gave us.

Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "Let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom."

By recognizing and observing those sacrifices he spoke of, we in turn are showing our true patriotism and pride for this great country. It was that same patriotism and pride that our fallen military members so bravely displayed when they gave their lives. So heed the advice of our former commander-in-chief by taking time this Memorial Day to remember. Visit the cemeteries of our fallen heroes or stop by and look at the memorials around the local area.

All too often the true meaning behind Memorial Day can be overlooked during the cookouts and parades, and as our nation's military members in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world continue to make those same sacrifices today, Memorial Day seems to be even more poignant this year.

So I encourage you to gather with your family and celebrate this weekend. But, I also urge you to stop and think about why we have this holiday to celebrate. Take the time to remember those who have gone before us, giving all they had so that we might continue to live free.

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