Do not forget those who died on this day off

Published 8:20 am Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010 is here. Many of us have planned trips for Memorial Day weekend, have plans to attend graduations or host backyard barbecues. Memorial Day for many of us is the start of summer and sun and leisurely enjoying the break from winter.

There are others who have not forgotten the reason Memorial Day was declared a national holiday. These are the people that remember the men and women who have served our country and died so that we can have the freedoms that we enjoy. Some of these people and organizations will plan parades and tributes to our men and women that have served our country. But it seems in 2010 those tributes do not seem as important as our plans and we do not take part in these festivities and tributes.

We sometimes seem to be a divided nation of differences that are too big to conquer. On this one day we have the chance to do what we should be doing all year long. We should be honoring the men and women that fight for our country and give their lives for our country even if we feel conflicted about the reasons for those times of war such as Vietnam.

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In the year 2000 the White House Commission on Remebrance was established. This commission encourages Americans to honor the sacrifices of our fallen and their families. On 3 p.m. on Memorial Day we are all asked to stop and pause in unity to remember those people that died giving something back to America.

Whether you agree or disagree with our government, remember why you have the freedom to voice your unhappiness, why you have the freedom to vote and why you have the freedom to read this article. Please take the time to pause on Memorial Day and remember those who so believe in that freedom that they gave their life protecting it. Remember those that are still fighting and dying today for our freedom in 2010.

‘Freedom is not free’

By Kelly Strong

I watched the flag pass by one day.

It fluttered in the breeze.

A young Marine saluted it,

and then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform

So young, so tall, so proud,

He’d stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him

Had fallen through the years.

How many died on foreign soil?

How many mothers’ tears?

How many pilots’ planes shot down?

How many died at sea?

How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?

No, freedom isn’t free.

I heard the sound of “Taps” one night,

When everything was still

I listened to the bugler play

And felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times

That “Taps” had meant “Amen,”

When a flag had draped a coffin

Of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,

Of the mothers and the wives,

Of fathers, sons and husbands

With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard

At the bottom of the sea

Of unmarked graves in Arlington.

No, freedom isn’t free.

Poem taken from the website,

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send e-mail to her at Her blog is Listen to KBEW AM radio 1:30 p.m. Sundays for “Something About Nothing.”