Last Modified: Sunday, May 27, 2012 7:13 PM
Memorial Day has “morphed” from a once (and still, in some quarters) solemn occasion to honor our war dead into a day with myriad meanings.
There’s the Memorial Day that serves as occasion for decorating the graves of family members, the Memorial Day that’s the linchpin for a coveted three-day holiday weekend, the Memorial Day that serves as the traditional time for the Indianapolis 500 race, the Memorial Day that provides great shopping opportunities and the Memorial Day that signals it is time to dig out your white belt and shoes.
We prefer the solemn day that first honored the Civil War dead and later honored all veterans who died in service to our country in war. Honoring the war dead should remain at the heart of this day’s worthy intentions.
That’s why Southwest Louisianians should be reminded — those who need such a reminder — that there is good reason to lower their flags, to decorate graves, to display the American Flag and to remember those Americans who fell on battlefields at home and abroad to protect our country. Memorial Day is more than an opportunity for good times. It is a good time to remember those men and women who gave their all to protect and serve the United States.
Writing in these pages last week, Lane Carson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, suggested a meaningful way to honor our valiant troops, soldiers and sailors from Louisiana who have died in the War Against Terror. The department has created a poster that bears the images of 131 military personnel from Louisiana who have perished since the War Against Terror began with the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the United States. Affixed to those images are the name, rank, date of death and hometown each of those wartime heroes.
“This poster provides a sobering visual image and literally puts a name and face to the sentiment behind what Memorial Day is intended to be,” Carson wrote.
Carson suggested that Louisianians visit the posters at display sites. That’s an excellent idea. The nearest, the LDVA web site says, is at the Southwest Louisiana Veterans Home in Jennings. The number is 337-824-2829.
But no matter where you spend this Memorial Day, spend a part of it in reflection. Remember the sacrifices others have made
so that we might enjoy our freedom. This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney,
Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.