Editorial: We honor all who gave their lives

Published 8:15 am Monday, May 31, 2010

What is Memorial Day?

Officially, it is a day to remember the men and women of the U.S. armed forces who died in war.

However, it also is a day for all who died in war, whether they wore a uniform or not.

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The holiday began as a day to remember and honor all Civil War dead. Whether they were soldiers or civilians, if they were in the war, they were honored.

The city officially recognized as the start of Memorial Day is Waterloo, N.Y. A druggist urged a gathering in 1865 to honor all patriotic dead and it took place in 1866.

Combat veterans would agree that many civilians often perform heroic and brave acts during wars, and many die for their valor.

For Americans today, wars take place far away, so the people who die in war are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

But there are exceptions, and the most notable one is the 9/11 attacks.

Today, we honor remember all who fought for America and died, whether they were passengers who rose up against their hijackers in the skies over Pennsylvania, contractors abducted and tortured to death by terrorists in Iraq, Special Forces conquering the mountains of Afghanistan or POWs left to die in prison camps in Vietnam.

Thank you for your bravery. You gave the ultimate sacrifice.