Letís get something straight.
Tomorrow is Memorial Day, a time to reverently remember and honor our countryís war dead.
The entirety of this three-day holiday weekend also marks the unofficial but eagerly anticipated start to summer, punctuated by charcoal fires and family gatherings in backyards and parks, by happily shrieking kids and camping and hiking and frolicking in the big, beautiful American outdoors.
Those seemingly contrasting causes can co-exist.
What there isnít room for? Turning a profit on patriotic fervor.
We have heard from many veterans appreciation for the kindnesses extended to them by local businesses, but as one letter writer pointed out, this is Memorial Day, not Veterans Day. Two distinctly different national holidays with a common focus on those who risk everything for their country, with one distinct difference: Memorial Day is to honor only the dead.
Without pointing fingers or naming names, itís disheartening when businesses try to capitalize on peopleís honest feelings of abiding respect. Memorial Day weekend sales events are fair game because of the dawn of summer celebration and the simple fact that many people have time to go shopping. But businesses that brand themselves as more star-spangled than their competitors deserve a dose of skepticism. Those who would try to reap a little extra profit by the blood of the valiant should be ashamed.
But letís not dwell there today or tomorrow. Please, be sure to do this one thing that will take just a minute. Literally.
ďThe National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for a duration of one minute. The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday. The Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events; rather, it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who died in service to the United States.Ē
If we canít spare 60 seconds, maybe we donít deserve the freedom that came at the price of so many lives.