Commentary

Take the time to remember the holiday

It is that time of year again. Time to prepare for summer. Time to get ready for hot days, swimsuits, vacations, barbecues and baseball. Before any of that happens, it’s also time to take a moment to pay our respects and honor those who gave their lives in order to protect and defend our country. Memorial Day was set up for Americans to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

Before we focus our attention on summer, it’s time to take a moment to consider those who served and died. If you think about it, all generations of Americans have been touched by war. The United States was founded by a war of revolution against an oppressive European power. So it stands to reason that we should take the day to recognize these individuals.

If you have not been directly impacted by the sacrifice of a loved one in the military, you can feel free to connect with those in our community who over the years have died in combat. Their names are emblazoned on the plaque outside the library (see Did You Know column). Feel free to take a look and remember.

If you think back and consider all those who have died while answering the call of duty. After the Revolution, there was a second war with England. Then there was the war with Mexico, were many US military members died in an effort to gain the land for our country where you are currently reading this article. Then came the war with ourselves where many Americans died to help keep the country together and move toward human rights.

Then the short war with Spain and then the Philippines, that expanded our territories and asserted our strength among traditional European powers. There was World War I, or “The Great War,” where American involvement turned the tide and helped bring an end to the fighting. The American support and sacrifice of the Greatest Generation and the years of World War II, where had it not been for the sacrifice of American service men, the world would be a vastly different looking place today.

The conflict in Korea that helped stem the growth of Communism and where tensions still continue today. The struggles in Vietnam to help hold on to democracy against an enemy that was often invisible. American service men are still feeling the sacrifice. The visit to La Habra by The Wall that Heals (see story Page 1), will help continue with that recovery.

The skirmishes in Panama and Grenada where once again Soldiers, Sailors , Airman and Marines were put in harms way in duty to our country.

Then the Gulf War and the more recent Iraqi Freedom and operations in Afghanistan, where conflicts continue today and servicemen still risk their lives for the US.

No matter what your stance is on war (past, present or future), or your political views, Memorial Day is a time were we, Americans, take the time to acknowledge what other Americans did for us so that we may live in this great country.

It truly is a time to consider Winston Churchill’s words when he said “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”

Take the time this weekend before your vacations and thank those who gave their lives for our country and our freedom.

Have an enjoyable Memorial Day!

—The Editor

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.