Many paid ultimate price

Published 10:19 am Saturday, May 25, 2013

Officially, Memorial Day is a federal holiday commemorating the men and women who died while in military service to the United States.

It began as decoration day in a time when people regularly visited the graves of their relatives, whether they had been in the military or not.

Unofficially, it’s the start of summer vacation season, and through the years it’s become more about shopping, family gatherings and a long weekend.

Combine the official and unofficial reasons we have Memorial Day, and we’ve come to think of picnics as part of our patriotic duty.

It’s difficult to imagine that those who died in defense of the American way of life wouldn’t smile to see families enjoying a long weekend together. But as our younger generations get farther removed from widespread service during war, we lose sight of the tremendous sacrifices by the men and women who gave their lives for our coutnry.

Whatever your plans, go about your travel and activities with safety in mind. Take time to remember those whose sacrifices set the standards for our way of life.

And if you see a veteran, take time to say thanks.