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In honor of those who served

Yesterday we honored those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

Memorial Day was officially declared a national holiday in 1971. Since then, we have celebrated the holiday on the last Monday in May.

But what does it mean to honor a soldier that died while on active duty?

In the simplest terms, it means taking time out of our collective days to remember them, their actions and what their sacrifice.

The men and women who serve do so for a variety of reasons. Some do it because of a great sense of patriotism and duty to their country, while others are continuing a family legacy. There are still more that enlist because it is a job that can open doors later in life.

No matter what reason one has for enlisting, the possibility of dying is ever present. All who sign up to serve are aware of this possibility, yet serve regardless.

That is why those that have made the ultimate sacrifice should be honored.

The question must now be asked: What is the best way to honor them?

Some might say a service in their honor is sufficient while others might suggest a bigger event with more fanfare.

Conversely, many would suggest that friends and family members of the fallen should remember those that gave their all.

In the end, it all comes down to one thing, memory. The memory of a service member is what’s important on Memorial Day.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”