I belong to an American Legion Post that has essentially abandoned its community role in participating in Memorial day activities in the local community…that is until this year. The post had not participated in services or marked the occasion of Memorial Day in at least 20 years that I’m aware of…leaving the void to be filled by other posts and veteran’s organizations in the area.
Fortunately, that changed this year and our post fielded its Legion Riders to the communities Memorial Day services with good effect.
During the Services I was fortunate enough to hear Captain Edward Smith provide a speech on the importance of Memorial Day and he tied it nicely to his personal experience in Iraq where he served with distinction with the Navy. His story tied in the human connection to the services when he visited the story of two soldiers caskets making the final journey.
I reflected that the services and Parade were well provided – not for the soldiers – nor their families – but for the young kids, community members and others so that they see the respect and reverence offered for our service member’s sacrifice. Hopefully our Legion will offer the lesson in subsequent years…I believe it’s valuable for our democracy to take the time to observe the tradition.