The fields of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia are lined with plain white stone grave markers. Each one stands the test of time to mark the life of a fallen hero.
These monuments are symbols of the bravery and sacrifices that our military personnel have shown.
They are a lasting tribute to the ultimate service too many paid to protect our freedoms.
Memorial Day is the day we set aside to honor those who served and sacrificed. This year’s observances across the land will be different due to the current limitations on public gatherings. Arlington National Cemetery and many of the other 142 national cemeteries run by the Veterans Administration will be closed to the general public.
Across the country, there are no volunteers or Boy Scouts groups allowed to honor the fallen by placing a single American flag at their grave markers. Here in the Hudson Valley, Memorial Day ceremonies will be limited or canceled due to social distancing.
Let’s not allow our forced physical distance to stop us from remembering. President Ronald Reagan reminded us that “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
Let’s fly the flag and take time to reflect on the people we know who died or were injured in the fight for freedom. Their efforts should never be forgotten.
Let’s remember and give thanks.