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Patti Best

an Artist living in Canton, NC

Remember to remember

How many of us know a war veteran from World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan or any of the actions we have been involved in as a nation? How many of us know the parent, wife, brother, sister, neighbor, or friend of someone killed in action (or in a training accident like our beloved, Tyler Woodle)?

If you were to wish them “Happy Memorial Day,” how do you suppose they would respond? I was saddened to hear the pain in my youngest son’s voice as he recounted someone saying those very words to him this past Memorial Day. You see, he has just finished serving six years in the Army, with a tour in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our oldest son, (now medically retired), served 13 years with two tours in Afghanistan. Both of them lost friends. … I would never make light of the ultimate sacrifice of any hero — firefighter, police officer, military or other — but I find it sad that the evening news rarely mentions our fallen military heroes any longer. Could it be that our military men and women as individuals are seen as an extension of our highly dysfunctional government? May we (you and I) never align ourselves with such a horrific idea!

The lack of respect our society pays our heroes on this sacred day is beyond disturbing. Have you ever been offended by all the commercials for the Memorial Day sales events? With 364 retail opportunities each year, I should imagine this one day could be treated with the respect it deserves.

My husband Hugh, our grandchildren and I walked through the memorial area in our downtown this Memorial Day. We read each and every marker, and Hugh and I recounted the experiences of their great-grandfathers during their service in World War II (my daddy) and Korea, (Hugh’s daddy).

We reminded them how blessed we are in our country and how thankful we should be for the sacrifices made. I am not holding my family up as the standard! I just want to encourage all of us to remember. Ask the war veterans in your life to tell you about a buddy he lost in combat. Tell him you will remember.

Remember to be thankful! Remember all the political reasons for these wars cannot heal the pain in the hearts of grieving loved ones.

Remember those who are part of “the band of brothers.” Please, this next Memorial Day, remember to remember. 

Patti H. Best is an artist living in Canton.