This month, our nation will observe Memorial Day. This is the one day each year that we pause to mourn those Americans who have given their lives for our country; except, most of us don’t! Most of us don’t pause to mourn. Most of us go to the beach, cook out and celebrate the beginning of summer. Many of us jump on Facebook and thank our veterans, not understanding that this is not Veteran’s Day and this is not about the living! This is the day to go to the cemetery and put a flag on the grave of a veteran you knew or on the grave of one you did not know. This is the day to take your kids or grandkids to Veteran’s Park at Sportsman’s Lake, show them the monuments with the names of the fallen and explain the sacrifices to them. This is the day to call someone you know who has lost someone in combat and tell them of your love and respect.
Each year, our county veterans lead a memorial program at Veteran’s Park to honor our local fallen heroes. This year, that program will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 28. We will pray for our fallen comrades and the families they left behind. Cullman Mayor Max Townson will offer a few remarks expressing the gratitude of our community. We will recognize one fallen county veteran, as a representative of all whose names are inscribed in our park. We will recognize his surviving family members. We will then place a wreath in monument circle to show our respect. We will close with TAPS!
I encourage you to put aside your busy schedule for this one brief moment of the year, to come out to Sportsman Lake, and to bring your kids and grandkids, so that they will bring theirs out some day. Come step onto this hallowed ground and experience the true meaning of Memorial Day.
Ken Brown, Colonel, USAF (RET) VFW Post 2214, Cullman, Alabama