Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

May 26, 2013

Take a moment to honor those who sacrificed

— You’re probably off work Monday.

That’s good. For most of us, Monday typically kicks off the work week. There’s comfort in routine, certainly, but who doesn’t need a break now and then? We think you’re entitled to it.

Do something fun. Visit friends, fire up the grill, maybe even sleep in. That said, this newspaper hopes you’ll find time to accomplish something more significant, too.

Offer respect.

Monday is Memorial Day, and it’s hardly a “Hallmark holiday” on the calendar. By act of Congress, the last Monday in May is the designated day to honor those who lost their lives in U.S. military service.

Circa 2013, the notion of war dead is an increasingly remote concern — too much so, in the view of The Goshen News. The draft is an artifact, and military service is voluntary rather than compulsory.

Recognizing sacrifice, though, ought to be nothing less than contemporary.

Many families in this area are familiar with what that sacrifice means and what the toll entails. They’re the people left behind when loved ones, duty-bound by conscription or enlistment, lost their lives. The blood of those serving in our armed forces was shed during world wars, the Korean conflict, and in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

For those fortunate enough not to feel the impact directly, take just a moment to take stock of that loss. Then take another.

Local veterans’ organizations and community organizers deserve thanks for staging Memorial Day events year after year. They work diligently behind the scenes to make sure something vital — honoring those who paid the ultimate price — is in the forefront and not forgotten.

The rest of us can do our part as well. Show up at one of the many Memorial Day ceremonies going on this long weekend (they happen Sunday, in some cases). Take a moment, or two or however many, to consider what duty can mean at a core level.

It’s the least we can do.

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