Remember the real reason for Memorial Day
By Steven Hoffman
Memorial Day has become synonymous with picnics, backyard parties, and parades, and has become the unofficial start to the summer. While all those things are fine, it’s also important to remember the real reason for Memorial Day, which is to honor the U.S. men and women who have died during military service for their country.
This year, Memorial Day is Monday, May 27, and there are three opportunities for southern Chester County residents to observe the day with lots of their neighbors.
West Grove will hold its Memorial Day ceremony on Saturday and both Kennett Square and Oxford will play host to Memorial Day Parades on Monday.
The Kennett Square parade, expertly organized by Bill Taylor, has long been one of the town’s highlights each year. The spectacular event features up to 1,500 participants, including 100 veterans who march in the parade and many community organizations and groups.
In Oxford, this year’s event is expected to be bigger and better than ever as an effort has been made to involve more community groups in the event.
These Memorial Day Parades are fun, family-friendly events that can also serve as something of a lesson on our shared history as a nation. Children always love seeing the vintage military vehicles, and who doesn’t get a little misty-eyed seeing a veteran ride in a parade? It’s a good time for one generation to pass down stories of experiences to the next generation. What was life like during World War II? What world issues led to the United States’ involvement in Vietnam? How do we care for the military veterans who serve their country? These are all topics that Americans of all ages would benefit from talking about.
Memorial Day Parades can also fill us with a sense of pride and patriotism as we remember that we’re all Americans, first and foremost. And whatever divides us today—politics, religion, socio-economic status—doesn’t mean that we can’t come together and accomplish great things tomorrow.
So please take time this Memorial Day Weekend to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country, and maybe thank a member of the military who served, or continues to serve, our country.