EDITORIAL: Memorial Day: A time to mourn, a time to celebrate

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Monday marks one of the most hallowed days of the year – Memorial Day.

We are reminded of the weight of the day each year as the names of those lost in battle, lost since their return from service or never found are read in cemeteries throughout the country.

We are reminded of Memorial Day's presence each year as our streets and cemeteries are lined with the Red, White and Blue and graves become covered in flowers and tokens of remembrance.

And, each year, we are reminded of the grief and sense of loss that never goes away for the men and women in uniform who paid the ultimate price to guarantee we can still mourn and celebrate their lives together.

But Memorial Day is also a day for celebration, unity and togetherness. Every community shows that no matter the year one was lost or the war in which one was lost, their memories are forever engrained in our history. We gather under the flags and amongst the flowers to hear their stories and play music in their honor. Afterwards, we share food and drink with the community, family and friends.

Memorial Day is unique because of the day's gravity and its history. It's ultimately a day to reflect on those who are lost but it's also a patriotic occasion to show that not only are they not forgotten, they are celebrated for their selflessness.

If you are without plans this Memorial Day, try to attend one of the many ceremonies in your county. Chances are, most cities and villages, no matter the size, will host some sort of event to commemorate the day. Seeing these first hand will show you the power the day has and how its meaning has affected communities of all sizes.

Even if you don't take in a formal ceremony, take some time to walk through your local cemetery or research the military history of your community because, again, the sheer reach of Memorial Day cannot be understood without a physical reminder.

We all have a connection to someone lost in war or a veteran who has since passed. We all have reason to observe Memorial Day.

Thank you to all who have dedicated their lives to serving the country and to those who have paid the ultimate price.

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