Reverence – We must not forget to honor those who lost their lives serving our Country. Even though we may not know them or their families personally, we must gather each year and stand together to show our appreciation for their sacrifices. We must continue to gather every year. We must teach our young people and our children the importance of carrying on this honored tradition and foster a “Spirit of Patriotism” for our Country.
Remember – We must not forget to respect, and give thanks to those who served in the past wars and other armed conflicts in our history; especially those who were wounded that may continue a life of suffering because of those injuries. They deserve to be honored and appreciated by all of us. Many of them returned home only to feel rejected, humiliated, or laughed at because of their military service. Those who served and are now present in our community, it is time for you to come forward and receive the welcome and thanks for the commitment of your time in serving our Country.
Recognition – There are many men and women that live in our community that served in the military forces during times of peace. They gave of their time in active duty or served in the Reserves or the National Guard. They also made a decision to serve our Country not knowing what might occur during the duration of their tour of duty. It was simply a choice to volunteer and do their part. This great multitude must now come forth and join with the war veterans so our community can recognize them for the role they performed. Once again, the youth of our community need to see that there have been many individuals living here that were not afraid to make a commitment to serve in a military capacity.
Respect – Last, but not least by any means, we must not forget those who are currently serving in the armed forces, or those that have just recently enlisted. We must give them the same thanks and appreciation as well, even in their absence, for their commitment in making our current military forces the best in the world. We welcome the spouses, parents, or other family members to represent them in the parade and carry a sign with their name in the event they are not available to attend personally.
`All of this can only happen if all of us step forward and get involved.
Those who have served or are serving in any capacity please come forward. Let this community see you and show their thanks, appreciation and support for all the time you have devoted during your tour of duty.
Those in the community! You must come forward and be there to clap your hands and salute our veterans. Buy a flag and bring it with you. Make a sign saying “Thank You Veterans”, “Welcome Home” to show your appreciation.
Please come, RAIN or SHINE! Our veterans served regardless of what the weather conditions were at any given moment in time past. What a great tribute it would be to see 10,000 umbrellas lining our streets as the veterans pass by.
Let us make a commitment not to forget anymore, but to make Memorial Day a day that we can all cherish!
May the only complaint heard from those in attendance on this day be, “I could not find a place to stand.”
Pemission to publish was granted by the author.
By : Joseph M. Salvia
Former 1 SG U.S. Army Michigan National Guard (1962-1968)
Former American Legion Post 216 Commander
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