Monday, May 31, 2010
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to the men and women of the armed forces and their families. They volunteer to give up years, and sometimes the rest of, their lives in order to ensure our way of life. In the name of freedom and liberty, these people leave the love and comfort of their homes, families and friends to put their lives at risk... many of them knowing that they might not return... to make this world a safer, better place.
I must admit to feeling a little sad when I think about what Memorial Day weekend has become. It was meant to be a solemn day to honor and remember those who have lost their lives, who willingly made the ultimate sacrifice so that you and I could continue to live our lives that are so full of freedom, liberty and safety. But Memorial Day has become a gluttonous festival of one-day sales, pool openings and bar-b-ques. People gather together, not to honor our fallen soldiers, but to shop till they drop, guzzle beer and burn meat.
We have determined not to teach our children the new and commercialized start-to-summer version of this holiday. This is not to say that we do nothing fun, but we take the time to teach the meaning of this day. And we honor our men & women in uniform.
Yesterday, we spent several hours at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery with more than 5,000 members of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Adventure Club and Girls Scouts. It was the Good Turn. We had a ceremony where the flag was raised, then lowered to half staff, and then the scouts and their families place a flag on each an every grave in the cemetery. It is a solemn and reverent occasion. Here are some photos I took: