The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
By Elaine Slater Reese - Spring Green, WI.
Most references state that Memorial Day was established as a day of remembrance for those who died in the service of the USA. Probably for the majority of people today it has become the first major three day holiday of the spring.
The number attending Memorial Day services seems to drop each year. In many years past families would visit the cemetery and would decorate the graves of our fallen servicemen.
People would greet each other and often walk down the line of tombstones reading the inscriptions and names and dates. And story after story would be told about that young man, that father, brother, sister, aunt or other relative or friend who gave their life that we might have freedoms we so take for granted now.
And there were those who came home only to never again be the same person their loved ones had previously known. Our military gave - their families gave. They gave so very much that we might enjoy the many freedoms we feel entitled to and take so for granted.
What did we learn from 9/11? What have we learned from the increasing number of terror attacks in other parts of the world?
If you think America is safe today, may I suggest you enroll in a class on current events. Yes, we definitely still need a very strong military presence. But it's time we quit expecting them do everything. We are Americans!
This is our country - yours and mine. We each reap the benefits. Don't you think it's time we each meet our responsibility as citizens? That means exercising our right to vote.
Perhaps it means not littering our highways. We can drop a bag of groceries on our neighbor's porch or volunteer or contribute to food pantries. We can visit the sick, do errands for one in need, check on the elderly. The list is long.
I don't care who said "Make America great again". It is what each of us has a responsibility to do. The military has their role. But that doesn't let us off the hook.
Let's all vow now at this moment that at least once - each and every day- we will do something, be it large or small, to give back to America.
In doing that we will make America better and we will be honoring those who through so many years have given so much.
God bless all those who serve and have served and God bless their families.
Elaine Reese is a free-lance writer who grew up in Hancock County, Illinois and considers that home even though she has now lived in Spring Green, Wisconsin for over 20 years. She says "The Quill" always keeps her updated.