Have A Good Memorial Day

Published 2:08 pm Thursday, June 20, 2013

No, wait.

The editorial headline must be wrong.

Out of date.

How embarrassing.

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Corrections coming.


Been there and didn't do that.

Or been there and already did that.

May 27, surely.

That was Memorial Day.

It's come and gone.

Over and out.

Pack up your patriotism, fold your flags and put your deep sense of gratitude back in the drawer for next year.





Left, right, left.

Keep marching in step with the beating of our grateful hearts.

One day, one weekend, are not nearly enough time to remember and honor our military veterans. Not enough hours or days to try and comprehend the courage and the sacrifice.

Most of us have never stood in those boots, much less fought a battle or waged a war in them.

We can never look at the United States flag in the same way a veteran does. We see the flag in Farmville, in Dillwyn, in Cartersville. They saw the flag in Iwo Jima, the Mekong Delta, in Mogadishu, Baghdad, and Kabul.

Not having done anything in their boots in those places, I cannot begin to truly imagine what it felt and what it feels like to see the United States flag in combat zones, or over the coffin of a fallen platoon member. But it must feel different. Feel deeper.

Because our veterans have looked at the flag in those places with those emotions we can look at the flag here without those emotions.

Memorial Day is listed as a holiday but it is a vacation for most people because thousands and thousands of veterans fought and died for them, for us, and thousands and thousands more came home with scars and memories. Our veterans live with those every minute of every day. They are joined by others returning home from Afghanistan and service locations around the world.

They didn't fight for us one day in the year. Their courage and commitment fill every day of the year. So, yes, have a good Memorial Day tomorrow and the day after that and perhaps do so by calling a veteran and just saying 'Thank you.' A telephone call on a day other than May 27 will have greater impact, anyway, because it will be even more unexpected.

Write a letter, send a package or volunteer at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center. The address is 1201 Broad Rock Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23249. Two national websites-www.welcomebackveterans.org and www.dav.org offer an abundance of opportunities to help veterans returning home and those who return home with disabilities because they were wounded fighting on our behalf.

Contact your local VFW organization to see how you might help them with their own initiatives to support veterans.

Let's have their back here at home.