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A day of thankfulness

In the midst of school ending, cookouts and a day off from work, the true meaning of Memorial Day often gets buried behind the glamour.

On Monday, American Legion Post No. 67 in Valley is hosting a program to honor the holiday at 11 a.m. EDT. Weather permitting, the event will be at Veterans Memorial Park in the Langdale community. In the event of rain, the program will take place inside the Valley Community Center.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, a turning point in the Vietnam War. Eight of the 14 local soldiers who were killed in Vietnam were killed that year.

This Memorial Day, it’s imperative for all American citizens to take at least a moment to remember the brave souls who were lost in any line of battle for the advancement of our country. America is one of the greatest countries in the world and the First Amendment is a big reason why that is the case.

The idea of having the freedom to say, “I don’t agree with that” is crucial. The concept is one of the reasons veterans risk their lives for the country, to preserve the liberty of citizens to disagree.

This freedom permeates all corners of our society, sometimes in ways some of us may not agree with, including in the realm of professional sports. In the NFL, for example, multiple players have decided to voice dissenting opinions over the course of the last 12 months on the field, kneeling during the national anthem in order to show disagreement, physically, with difficult and complex issues in our society, such as discrimination and racism.Last December in Troy, a 17-year-old black male’s face was severely swollen after being beaten by police. In March, a grand jury decided not to press any criminal charges against the officers.

This Memorial Day, remember the sacrifices that men and women have made to the country. Be appreciative to live in the greatest country in the world. Enjoy family and friends. Those who have paid the ultimate price did so for these moments. However, also take a moment to remember that this ultimate price has been paid so that we can have certain liberties, even the liberty to say “I don’t agree with that.”