May 28, 2012

Positivity: Memorial Day 2012

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 1:00 am

A Boston Herald editorial, in full:

It has become a “new tradition” here — this planting of flags on Boston Common to remind all of us of the real meaning of Memorial Day.

For several days the hillside near the Sailors and Soldiers Monument is covered with some 33,000 small flags put there by volunteers organized by the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund. The flags represent the sons and daughters of Massachusetts who have died from the Civil War to the present. This year the memorial includes 159 flags for those Bay State heroes who died in the service of their country since Sept. 11, 2001.

This year also a special commuter rail train was wrapped in red, white and blue and adorned with gold stars, each representing a service member from the state killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Many of the family members of those honored were present for the train’s inaugural run last week.

Yes, this, the unofficial start of summer, does indeed have a more poignant meaning and one that too often gets lost in the rush to fire up the barbecue, plant the tomatoes and locate the beach toys. And today’s all-volunteer military — even during a time of war — has meant that fewer and fewer families are aware of the enormous sacrifices of those who serve so valiantly and of the families they leave behind.

Most of us remain untouched by the daily worry of having a loved one serving in harm’s way. Most of us don’t have to deal with the hardship of raising children alone because one parent has been called to active duty, some never to return. And most of us will never know the anguish of dealing with a spouse, a son or daughter, a brother or sister wounded in body or mind who has returned to a world ill-prepared to deal with those injuries.

So it behooves all of us — certainly on this day but also on the days to come — to make a special effort to understand those sacrifices, to reach out to all who serve and to all they leave behind to say thanks for your service, thanks for answering the call, and thanks for helping preserve the freedoms and a way of life that is envied around the world. It is a debt we can never repay.

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