Remembrance is forgotten.

Jarrod Schoenecker,

As I sit at the Memorial Day program put forth in Montgomery, I can’t help but see the group that is here — veterans, loved ones of veterans, and a very few outside that realm. The average age is maybe around age 60 or an age where people felt directly affected by the threats of war and that our freedom could possibly be affected personally.

The guest speaker, Veteran Don Walser, spoke about how the most important way that people can honor a soldier’s sacrifice for us to live in safety and freedom is remembrance of them. Yet, I look around and see only those who are directly or indirectly involved.

I don’t see families. I don’t see the average person sitting there. I don’t see a group of bikers, although I saw them gathered just a block away at the bar when I exited.

My first and really only thought was, “Memorial Day has become an extended weekend solely for people to party, barbecue, go up north, camping, vacation and otherwise celebrate rather than do the one thing at least one soldier has asked us to do — remember.”

It’s hypocritical because for many years, if not having to work, I have spent that time celebrating myself. Essentially, it was what I was taught to do. It is very obvious that this is what most of this community have been taught to do too, citing the lack of the general public there. It instills a sense of guilt, a sense of what would be right to do.

It’s pretty hard to belittle the importance of the lifestyle we are able to live due to the veterans surrounding you in such a room or also those loved ones sitting there without their significant other or relative there because their life was lost in fighting for our freedoms.

Maybe you don’t spend every Memorial Day at such a program but perhaps you could spend every other one not celebrating yourself for just that day or that portion of the day? Attend a gravesite, go to a memorial service, buy a poppy and wear it and wave a flag at a veterans day parade.

I was quite surprised that the local Tri-City United High School Marching Band was not in this years parade and not playing at the program. Overall, it seems there is a great disconnect and that remembrance is forgotten.

Perhaps in the future, the United States will be under direct attack again and the importance of these peoples’ sacrifices will surface again where the average person can understand it in such a way that they too want to take this day in actual remembrance. It seems as if this is the extent of what would need to happen in order for the greater population to realize why this day, Memorial Day, was created as a holiday.


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