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It’s Memorial Day

Picture of graves decorated with flags at Arli...
Image via Wikipedia

Memorial Day is the day set aside to remember the those men and women who have died for this country.

Personally, I’m conflicted about war but I’m clear about this: It isn’t the war, it’s the people – fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts and cousins – who matter. They matter because of the sacrifice they make.

I visited to Arlington National Cemetery twice when I lived in Washington, D.C. The first thing that struck me were the rows and rows of pearly headstones — stretching as far as my eye could see — set atop a carpet of lush green grass. As I walked around, I was struck by the eerie silence that hangs like a blanket over the cemetery. I found myself whispering when there was no need to. As if talking would be irreverent.

As far as I know, I don’t know anyone who’s buried at Arlington but I know it’s an honor to be.

And having lost close family members, I can imagine the grief their loved ones feel.

Years ago, when a holiday was declared to honor Martin Luther King, many of my friends said we had to make sure that the day didn’t turn into a day for sales.

I’m not sure when Memorial Day weekend became known as the unofficial start of summer or when Memorial Day evolved into a day for sales but to my mind it cheapens the memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Arlington National Cemetery is open 365 days a year. From 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. from April to September and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from October to March.