Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:51 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

To those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country.

As we move into the Memorial Day Weekend, let us remember the real reason for the holiday.

Observed on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day was created to honor the men and women who died serving in the U.S. military.

Email newsletter signup

Originally known as Decoration Day to honor the large numbers of Civil War dead, the day became known after World War I as a day to honor all fallen service members who gave their lives.

In 1971, an act of Congress made Memorial Day what it is today.

Across the country, communities will host Memorial Day parades and ceremonies, and people will attend cemeteries and memorials.

Others may host a barbecue with family or friends for the holiday as the unofficial start to summer.

We ask whatever you decide to do this weekend, and particularly on Monday, don’t forget to pay tribute to the heroes — the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines — who paid the ultimate price for our country.

We thank them for their service.

To the return of the summer events and festivals we all love.

Thursday marked a kickoff of sorts to summer events in Albert Lea with the 16th annual Thorne Crest Car Show and the first of many Thursdays on Fountain concerts slated for the summer.

There were blue skies and the weather was warm.

It was good to see lots of people out and about, and we hope the evening was just a glimpse of what’s yet to come this summer.

If you haven’t been in the past to check out these events, we encourage you to give them a try this summer. It’s fun to get out and see your friends and neighbors, there’s usually good entertainment and of course there’s delicious food to try, too.

Look to our annual Summer Times special section that publishes June 7 for a full listing of activities planned for the summer and into the fall.

Albert Lea is going to be a busy place with lots to do.

To the progress on the fundraising for the new Freedom Rock at the Freeborn County courthouse.

We are pleased to hear the success the Albert Lea American Legion Riders have already seen in raising funds for the Freedom Rock at the Freeborn County courthouse.

As of this week, the group had raised more than $40,000 toward the project, which will honor veterans and those who gave their lives from the area.

The rock, which is essentially a boulder 10-feet-by-6-feet in size, will be painted by artist Bubba Ray Sorensen II in September.

Freedom Rocks originated in Iowa by Sorensen with a 12-foot-tall boulder in southwest Iowa near the small town of Menlo. In 1999, Sorensen painted a simple “thank you” to veterans on the boulder and has continued to honor veterans by donating his time for new murals on this boulder every May for Memorial Day, drawing in people each year to see what he has created.

Thank you to all those who have supported this project, either with in-kind or monetary donations.

The group anticipates they will need about $10,000 more to have enough money to do everything they need, including sidewalks, landscaping and a structure over the Freedom Rock.

If you’re still considering whether to give, we encourage you to support this worthy project.

Not only will it honor all those from the area who have served this nation, but it will also be a place that will draw attention from people from outside the area who travel to see these rocks.

This has been a great collaborative project, and we look forward to seeing what the rock looks like when it is completed.