Memorial Day: Please remember

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kali L. Gradishar
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
A substantially significant holiday is upon us. On this last Monday in May, fly your flags with great pride, bow your heads in reverence, share stories of those you remember and adorn the graves of the fallen with the most beautiful décor.

Remember that this day is not just a day off, a chance to start up the grill or an excuse to picnic at the park. Remember that this day is to honor our fallen heroes, recognize the sacrifices they made and make tribute to their memory.

Civil rights activist, author, and performer, Maya Angelou, once said, "How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!"

How right she is.

Though our fallen comrades deserve to be recognized every day, the National Holiday Act of 1971 turned Memorial Day into a federal holiday, which falls on May 28.

Also on this day falls the National Moment of Remembrance. A resolution passed in 2000 designated 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day as the moment for all to take a moment to appreciate what those in uniform have given so others may have.

This may be the best time to put down your cell phones, lower the volume of the stereo, turn off the television and pause a moment in recognition of our brave troops. Take the time to observe in your own way what patriotism means, how the families of the fallen have grieved, and the freedom Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Soldiers fought for.

Life, a loved one, a friend. A husband, wife, brother or sister. A classmate, a fellow servicemember. These are the great prices to pay.

One day. One day out of 365 days. This is a small price to pay.

Enjoy the weekend and enjoy the holiday, but remember and remind others of the true meaning of Memorial Day. Let your feelings of support, unity and patriotism flow freely on this day, and stand together in appreciation of our military men and women.