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Remembering those who made the supreme sacrifice

We had more to be thankful for than usual this Memorial Day.

The holiday was the latest it could possibly be this year, perhaps because COVID-19 needed the extra week to continue to disappear and some needed the time to get vaccinated.

It’s now summer, unofficially, and the majority of us can shed our masks and continue our return to a normal routine, if we can remember what that looks like.

Hopefully, you took time on Monday to remember those who fought and died for our freedom. Most holidays are a time of celebration. This one is too, but it’s also a deeper, reflective chance to honor those who have made the supreme sacrifice to allow us to go freely about our business.

Almost everyone has a relative who fought in some war. Certainly, there have been many conflicts throughout our history. Soon, our involvement in one of the longest ones will end as the last of the American troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan on September 11, almost exactly 20 years after the first group arrived.

Three historical quotes reinforce the spirit behind Memorial Day. Former General Norman Schwarzkopf said “It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”

Current Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota said “I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty and freedom. It is the history of our nation and it’s marked by the blood of those who died defending it.”

The third is from an unknown person, but resonates strongly. “Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.”

Please take a moment or two to remember our fallen soldiers and thank them for their service and sacrifice.