A very serious holiday

By Observer editorial May 28, 2013 12:14 pm
Memorial Day typically marks the beginning of the summer vacation season, with picnics, barbecues and long swims in the river, and Labor Day marks its end.

But Memorial Day is much more than just the starting gun for fun. It’s a very serious holiday. It’s a chance to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.

From the Civil War in the 1860s to the Global War on Terrorism today, there are veterans who have paid the ultimate price to defend our freedoms.

Some living veterans are running out of time for their fallen comrades to be remembered. World War II is a case in point. Only six states do not have a memorial to their World War II veterans. Oregon is one of those states.

On this Memorial Day, when we honor those servicemen and servicewomen who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country free, it’s a good time to put in a plug to help the  World War II Memorial supporters reach their fundraising goal.

Construction is expected to begin on the WWII Memorial later this year in the northwest corner of the Capitol Mall in Salem.

 The memorial will honor the 3,745 Oregon soldiers killed in WWII.  

About $600,000 more funds need to be raised. Commemorative coins are available. Donors can get information about opportunities to support the memorial at www.oregonwwIImemorial.com.

The plan is for the names of some 3,745 Oregon soldiers to be carved in the granite walls as part of an interactive display. 

Contribute if you can. And even if you can’t, set aside some time today to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Congress made Memorial Day part of a three-day weekend in 1971, and many feel this distracts from the meaningfulness of the day. Get back in the original spirit. Visit a cemetery. Or just take a moment to honor those who have paid the ultimate price.