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  • Writer's pictureLeRoy Cossette


I wish to say something about Memorial Day, which is coming up this Monday.

I know most Americans have big plans for Memorial Day weekend. After all it’s the beginning of the summer season with all the wonderful outdoor activities it brings.

But here’s the reality of Memorial Day. It is not about summer activities. It is not a day to wish every veteran you know “Happy Memorial Day.” It’s a day of mourning, a day of remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives so that we could enjoy the freedoms and liberties this country offers to each of us.

Tonight, I will go to sleep next to my Marine who survived Vietnam, and tomorrow I’ll wake up with him, too. Tomorrow, I get to be annoyed by the mess he leaves around the house, the misunderstandings during our conversations, how loud he turns up the TV or how he spends too much time in front of the computer. Each day I get to experience the knowledge that he is there by my side.

I am incredibly lucky because most of us have family members or friends who aren’t so lucky.

They’d do anything to be able to get into a fight with their spouse again or to suffer their annoying habits. And on Monday morning - just like today, tomorrow, and the day after, they won’t wake up with their spouse lying next to them. Instead, they’ll wake up to an emptiness you and I just don’t know.

For them, every day is Memorial Day. But on this day, this one day every year, you and I are supposed to put on our empathy hats and try to be there for them or at the very least remember the sacrifice that those Marines, Soldiers, Sailers, Airmen, and the loved ones they left behind made for us.

Enjoy the day with your family and friends, but when you sit down at the table this coming Monday, remember those tables with an empty seat and honor that emptiness. Remember that life.

Memorial Day is all about remembering. Promise to never forget.

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Kristin Whitesides
Kristin Whitesides
May 19
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Thank you, Mrs. Cossette. Well said. This is my uncle whose life was not lost in Okinawa, but his soul was never the same. We remember and are grateful.

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