One of the most memorable photos of World War II was this one. Memorial Day, whether celebrated Monday or Friday, is a time to honor those who were not present for this photo. Many soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors sacrificed their lives for this moment and for others which led to victory in the second World War. And it is for them, and all those who died in previous wars and subsequent ones, that Memorial Day is for. If you watch a parade tomorrow or Friday, be aware that some of those marching had friends who could not march because they witnessed their deaths in battle. Tears shed at ceremonies are real. This holiday honors those who are dead.
In a few years, you may not be able to see a WWII veteran march. Ask a veteran about their memories and chronicle them. My dad was 18 when he joined the US Navy in 1943. His ship was nearly lost returning from the Mediterranean in a hurricane. He has told stories, but I have not asked enough questions. And in a few years, there will be nobody left to ask. 10 years after that, the veterans of the Korean War will be gone. So, ask. And thank. The service of these men women mean so much. And remember why there IS a Memorial Day.