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The Start of Summer

Well, I think our long spring is over and the start of summer has begun, even with the cool temperatures that still hang around. Somehow, like a lot of you I always seem to be working on Memorial Day. However, I still tend to think about what the day means to each of us.
The good part is that America still recognizes the contributions our soldiers, both past and present, have given to us all. The bad part is that many young Americans may not fully understand the true meaning of Memorial Day, instead only thinking of it as a Monday off to go to the lake. 
Some of us take for granted what others have sacrificed for America. We can’t imagine the pain of losing a family member in a war, having someone wounded, the loss of a limb, or the pain for family members, especially the wives and children, and nowadays moms and wives are lost in battle. 
America has been so lucky to have never fought a major war on its own land since the Civil War, although recently we’ve had terrorists and the battles along our Mexican border. Lately our nation has done a better job of honoring those who have fought our wars. The World War II Memorial and the flights to Washington, D.C. for soldiers to view it is a great honor to those who get to go. Remember, we are losing our World War II vets and those who worked in that war effort at a fast pace.
We need to do more for those who were in the Korean War, “The Forgotten War,” which was a brutal war with much suffering for all. The Vietnam War taught us how not to treat our soldiers as they came home, and we have learned how to be a patriot from those who have fought for the last eight years in the Middle East. 
We can’t all be heroes, but we can all be patriots. It has been said that patriotism is not so much protecting the land of our fathers as it is preserving the land of our children. We must remember that freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better. We all deserve that chance, and how we take advantage of it is our choosing. 
We are nearing the start of what some call the “silly season.” With the elections coming on in August we’ll get used to yard signs, TV commercials and the other avenues used for candidate promotion, and that is what America is all about. Hear them out, read about them, ask questions, support those whose message you like and vote Aug. 17 and again in November. 
I don’t know how our gubernatorial candidates do it. Most of them have already been crisscrossing the state for some time now, and our parade season doesn’t even start until later next month. One really has to respect those who are earnest about campaigning. Someone has to do it, and they open up their whole lives to the voters. If they’re privileged, they move into office; if not, they still should hold their heads high because they served the purpose of America. 
Dennis