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Memorial Day

Time, they say, passes more quickly the older you get, and I’m certainly getting older. Memorial Day has come around again much sooner than expected.

We had a steady stream of older men, undoubtedly veterans, coming into the office this past week to give us details about county Memorial Day observances, which you’ll find elsewhere in the paper.

Memorial Day isn’t about celebrating those who served. It’s about those who never got the chance to grow old because they served and died.

So many of us were lucky enough to grow up with veterans as our fathers and mothers, while others didn’t. Their Memorial Day observances became deeply personal — it wasn’t just any soldier or pilot, it was Dad, or Uncle Bob, or Cousin Jim, and more recently Mom or Aunt Emily, who went away and never came back.

We remember the fallen on Memorial Day, but this year, also take a moment to remember the collateral damage, the lives of family and friends forever changed by a sniper’s bullet or an enemy bomb. It’s beyond humbling for me to try to fathom all of the missed births and birthdays, Little League games, backyard barbecues, school concerts, graduations, weddings, and all the rest that would have been different “if only.”

If you haven’t been out to a ceremony in recent years to honor the ultimate sacrifice given by so many, maybe the enormity of the sacrifice multiplied across countless lives will be motivation bring you back. Those lives, and yours, are what they died for. Surely that’s worth a short drive and a few minutes of your time.

— david colburn

Last modified May 26, 2016

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