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We remember: Memorial Day is more than barbeques, three-day weekend

"We remember the solemn early morning knock at the door of a mother or wife, followed by the harrowing words of a uniformed service member saying, 'The President has entrusted me to express his deepest regret..,'” writes The Dickinson Press.

Honor Guardsman folding American flag
White gloved hands of US Military Honor Guardsmen fold an American flag, once draped over the casket of a fallen service member.
Getty Images
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"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same." — President Ronald Reagan.

On May 30, 2022, Americans will celebrate. They will fire up the BBQ grills, gather as families and friends and enjoy the longer than usual respite from work. Citizens will gather in our nation’s parks and beaches, and undoubtedly, there will be those who in their leisure forget the very solemn purpose of Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is the time set aside for our great nation to reflect upon and remember those brave souls, men and women, who have laid upon the altar of freedom so dear a sacrifice, that we may enjoy the freedoms we do. To salute the fallen who in their sacrifices have embodied Article One of the Code of Conduct for members of the Armed Forces of the United States.

"I am an American fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense."

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May, each year, to honor the American military personnel who sacrificed their lives in an effort to protect the freedom of the United States. For service members our freedom and the costs paid are expensive, and so the least we as Americans can do is give a few moments of our day to say thank you.

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The tradition of Memorial Day began in the late 1860s as southern and northern communities gathered for a nationwide day of remembrance. This day would become known as Decoration Day, in memory of the dead of the Civil War. Following World War I, it would be rebranded as Memorial Day — a commemorative day to honor all U.S. military personnel who have died in war.

We at The Dickinson Press join the collection of patriotic Western Edge communities in remembering the purpose of this holiday.

We remember the lone tear streaked and stern faces of an honor guard team firing three volleys from their rifles on a lonely hero’s hill in a final salute to a fallen service member.

We remember the solemn early morning knock at the door of a mother or wife, followed by the harrowing words of a uniformed service member saying, “The President has entrusted me to express his deepest regret..”

We remember the veteran who sits in the quiet darkness of his home remembering, “that fateful day” his brother or sister in arms died in the snow of some far-off northern lands or in the sunny tropic scenes.

We remember the high school senior who in a bittersweet moment this weekend will walk the graduation stage and remember the day that their mom, dad, brother or sister left for 6 months, but never returned.

Join us this weekend as we remember the only reason we observe Memorial Day. Take a moment of your time, before the big game or BBQ, to say a silent prayer for those who cannot partake in the festivities of their sacrifice.

Across southwestern North Dakota, commemorative gatherings, public services and local parades will take place. We invite and urge residents to attend Memorial Day events in their communities. Send us pictures! We would love to have a full-page spread of Memorial Day art in our next print edition.

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Finally, join us and the nation in a moment of silence to honor the sacrifices of thousands of men and women at 3 p.m. local time Monday. Designated by Congress in 2000, all Americans are asked to pause for a minute of silence in remembrance and honor of those who have died serving America.

This editorial is the opinion of The Dickinson Press Editorial Board, consisting of Publisher Joy Schoch; Editor James B. Miller, Jr.; and Advertising Director Jenn Binstock.

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