Take time to honor the spirit of Memorial Day

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Vince Luecke

Memorial Day is approaching and with it, high-school graduations, summer vacations and even a well-known auto race.

But it’s Memorial Day we hope Perry Countians will devote some of the coming week and holiday weekend to honoring. Doing so will respect the heroism and selfless service shown by the men and women who gave their lives in service to our land.

Unfortunately, as we’ve lamented on this page for many years, Memorial Day is too often crowded out by so many other activities.

We know the first summer holiday is a busy time for everyone, but we encourage individuals and families to honor fallen and living veterans.

More than 130 people from our county died in service to the nation during its wars and conflicts. How many of their names do you know?

We should know some of the names. Let’s learn them.  

Their names will again be on white crosses that will be in City Hall Park this week and weekend. The Avenue of Flags project is sponsored by Tell City Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2939.

There are other ways to honor those who shed their blood for our nation. American Legion posts in Tell City, Cannelton and St. Meinrad will join VFW members Sunday and Monday in brief Memorial Day services at cemeteries across the county.

A schedule was in last Thursday’s issue and will be republished this Thursday.

Too often, veterans outnumber the public at these events. Why not take a few minutes from a long weekend to join veterans in paying respect for their fallen brothers and sisters at a cemetery near you?

There’s no better gesture we can offer. And it’s a great lesson in patriotism and civics for young people. Our children need to know who secured their freedoms.

Veterans and active military members are the guarantors of our freedoms, the ability to voice our opinions, to keep and bear arms and to peacefully assemble. They also ensure freedom of the press enjoyed by publications like this one.

We are proud to have American Legion posts in Tell City and Cannelton and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2939 in Tell City. Supported by active auxiliaries, they promote the fraternity of its members and work to instill a love and respect for democracy within their communities. They will be out in force this weekend. Let’s join them.

We are debtors to those who gave their lives to ensure our freedom. The debt is permanent and can never be fully repaid.

But by offering tribute to their lives we can ensure that their sacrifice is always remembered and always held solemn and indelibly written in our hearts.