Commentary: Take time to reflect on true meaning of Memorial Day
Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010 9:31 pm
By: Emily Williams, Messenger Intern
By EMILY WILLIAMS
John T. Loveless’ brother, Claud T. Loveless, lost his life in Germany during World War II. They never found his body, but his grave marker is in Eastview Cemetery. Loveless also has three veteran nephews who are buried there.
At 96, Loveless has been placing flags on the graves of veterans at the cemetery every Memorial Day for over 40 years. He takes Memorial Day seriously.
“It is a day to honor those we’ve lost,” he said. “People don’t care as much anymore, and it’s getting worse.”
How true this is.
Like so many holidays, the true meaning of Memorial Day has been lost over the years.
It has become a day that most look forward to as the kickoff to summer with barbecues, relaxing by the pool and watching NASCAR.
We are too concerned with making our own day memorable. We forget those for whom it is meant to commemorate.
Memorial Day’s true purpose is to be a day of reflection and remembrance, a day set aside in honor of the thousands of soldiers who have given their lives for our country, and a day to remember the families that grieve for them — for them the holiday undoubtedly has a deeper meaning.
So many Americans, like Loveless, have received the devastating news that their brother, father, husband, son, sister, mother, wife, daughter have lost their lives serving our country.
While this isn’t the case for everyone, we are all the beneficiaries of their sacrifice. When the freedom we so often take for granted has been threatened, these men and women fought to preserve it.
So while we spend our day boating, fishing, sleeping, eating or watching TV, let us remember why, and because of whom, any of it is possible.
Setting aside this one day is a small sacrifice to pay compared to the ultimate sacrifice our fallen soldiers have made.
Editor’s Note: Emily Williams, the daughter of Roger and Juli Williams of Woodland Mills, is a senior at Rhodes College in Memphis. She is interning at The Messenger this summer.
Published in The Messenger 5.27.10