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And so it goes. Once we brought spring flowers to graves, cleared away weeds and tried to recall faces grown dim in the shadows of the past. It has not been that way for most Americans for a long time.
We are free to spend this extra day off from work, for that is mostly what it is now, as we like. That’s the legacy of our dead warriors; the freedom to live as we choose. It is what they fought for on battlefields whose names we cannot pronounce in countries we cannot readily locate on a map.
Freedom can be lost in other ways. It can be lost when schools no longer transmit the ideals that make it possible. It can be lost when adults forget their value or trade them away through carelessness or neglect.
A memorial, Webster’s says, is “something that keeps remembrance alive.” It cannot be achieved on any single day.