Memorial meaning

By: Daniel Gotera Email
By: Daniel Gotera Email

The Memorial Day weekend is more than barbeque and outings to area parks and lakes. It's about remembering men and women who have died in military service to their country.

But has the meaning has been lost to many of today's younger generation?

What began as a day of remembrance back in the 1860's, now has become a weekend full of boating and barbecue, and some veterans are afraid the true meaning of Memorial Day will be lost for good.

From American flags flapping in the wind from parades in Denison to cemeteries all across north Texas and southeastern Oklahoma, all of them were placed to observe Memorial Day…or are they?

"We all put up our flags, but do we really understand it?"

Beth Williams’s late husband was in the military for 21 years, so she knows what the holiday means.

"I stop and think about what they've done for our country and for our people to go serve and put their life on the line for their country."

Memorial Day honors the men and women who have given their life fighting in foreign wars, and veterans that participated in events across the area are concerned the outdoors activities are getting in the way of paying respect to those who fought and fight for freedom.

"This start of the summer is good, but Memorial Day should be set aside for our troops. We should go to cemeteries. We should place a flag on a grave."

Sherman resident and veteran James Barnett and other veterans we spoke to feel that younger generations are not being taught the true meaning of the last Monday in May, and some students agree with them.

Those who take time to truly observe the significance are really appreciated by veterans.

"Well it means a heck of a lot more than you might know...because it wasn't pretty."

Memorial Day was originally called ‘Decoration Day.’ But after World War II, federal law renamed the holiday and the name has stuck ever since.

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