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Originally published: 2014-05-30 12:09:48
Last modified: 2014-05-30 12:10:32

Our View: Why we salute

Following a typical High Country winter -- and especially as one as cold as our last -- it can be forgiven if we, more than most, embrace Memorial Day as our own unofficial kickoff to summer.

But unforgivable would be to simply embrace that day as one for cookouts, picnics and outside play with little or no thought for the significance of the holiday.

On Monday, we remember those of our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, neighbors and friends who have died in active military service. While it is always appropriate to remember our loved ones who have died, Memorial Day is the one day set aside to stop and reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

During the Civil War, the war from which Memorial Day grew, soldiers were often buried where they died, which was typically far from home. People who lived near battlefields often accepted the responsibility for taking care of the graves of strangers. By doing so, they were honoring their own war dead, whose own bodies were buried far from home.

Today, we continue this tradition when we attend a ceremony such as those at Boone Mall or in Blowing Rock. A few minutes in the morning or during the day to raise a salute is not too much to ask.

Welcome summer with the holiday on Monday, May 26, but first remember those who gave their lives to make that welcome possible.