In May 23 IssueRussell County News
Memorial Day, there are towns that claim to be its birthplace and orders establishing it, proclaiming it, changing it and proposed laws to move it.
It began as a day to commemorate those killed in the Civil War. With the bloody events of WWI it grew to include all Americans killed in war.
With our natural predilection for inclusion, rather than exclusion, it spread again to become a day to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.
Our mobile society, joined now more by television and other media than ties of family and community, it became a long-weekend that marked the start of summer and a good excuse for a party.
Having an economy built around vacationers coming to Lake Cumberland it is hard to rail against such celebrations.
But as there are men and women wearing this country's uniforms who are in harms way this weekend, as there have been for too many years now, at least let us all pause and at the very least remember what this long weekend is about.
You didn't earn this time off. Others paid for this weekend with more than most have ever offered and more than any reading this have paid.
Whether you feel that the United States should never have battled the Kaiser or should have appeased Hitler or kept out of any number of wars in Asia; these soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines went where they were ordered and did as they were commanded and there they died.
Those who wear the uniform do not give up the right to disagree with where and why they are sent but they go and hazard their lives. They are paid, and receive benefits, as meager as they have both always been.
Duty, honor and country are more than words to those in uniform and it is for those words' meanings that these people fought and died.
So disrupt at least a moment of your "long-weekend" of celebration to honor those who paid for your time off, and a whole lot more of what you have, with everything they had.