To many Americans, Memorial Day has lost its meaning

by Johanna Valdez May 30, 2017, 6:23

Organizations like The American Legion and VFW are often the places to host community events for Memorial Day, but when the holiday's over, members say it can be a struggle to get veterans involved.

Pam Marley, of Whiting, said she and her brother have attended the memorial service at Calumet Park Cemetery since the death in 2014 of their father, Army Pfc.

"That's what veterans mean to me, that's what America means to me, and I'll never forget for the rest of my life", he said.

Along the traditional route, we will [pay] our respects to those Veterans who have been laid to rest at the Rural Cemetery, Burnett Cemetery and Revolutionary War Cemetery. The Legion members who placed the flags at Mountain View on May 16 represented every branch of the military except for the Coast Guard. I can remember the history of my country as well as the history of my family when we would visit Town of Maine Cemetery, and work on graves from the Civil War era, and markers so worn that you had to run your hands over them to determine the names and the dates. He credited Jeff Sukeforth and Rosey Gerry for getting the word out through their chapter newsletter. And today, boys scouts and veterans worked together to cut the flag and then burn it. More than 1,000 active duty service members participate in the parade, as well as more than 30 high school marching bands.

Next, American Legion Mark L. Wilt Post 210 Commander Doug Weaver, an Army veteran who served in the infantry during the Vietnam War, came to the microphone. Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day.

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The time - 3 p.m. local time - was selected because it is a time when most people are enjoying their American freedoms on the holiday.

Celebrate Memorial Day and honor those U.S. service men and women who gave their lives with these commemorative events around Sonoma County.

Douglas and Rene Kicklighter, Iraq veterans at the cemetery with their 10- and 12-year-old sons, said they believe most people understand what the holiday's about.

To Marianna Wohlgemuth, a former co-chair of the Albertson VFW Ladies Auxiliary, Memorial Day is a chance to teach children not just about the valor of the country's soldiers, but also the human cost of war. "Veterans Day is for those who are living". "We are truly fortunate to live in a country worth dying for".

Other American cities with Memorial Day events dating back to 1866 include Macon and Columbus Georgia; Richmond, Virginia; Boalsburg, Pennsylvania and Carbondale, Illinois. "But, of course, Memorial Day is all about those who died", she said. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. Talk to a veteran in your family and learn about their commitment and the challenges they faced in their time of service.


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