November 1, 2010
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On this Memorial Day, we shall drive up the hill to the cemetery and leave behind the noisy street, past the towering old pine and tender young aspen. Seeing their new green leaves, we know that summer awaits, but we pause for a moment of remembrance, a recognition of those buried here who have served in the military forces of our country.
There is reason to step back into the sadness and hurt of 12 years ago, to bring back the gut feeling so many of us shared that September morning. As bad as what was taking place in New York City became, we looked up at an American flag and saw something good. That good is the reason we must remember.
Memorial Day traditions stem from a time even before history’s chronicling began. War always has been a part of life: victory, defeat, winners, losers — and death — the price that is paid.
Veterans come home, some alive, and too many dead. As civilians, they seek no recognition, only to be part of everyday life in communities of their choice. On Sunday, we honor them.
To our veterans: You have lived in a different world, one that we civilians can never know. While you were away, our lives continued in safety and without fear. Your family welcomed you back with open arms, but your return was and is important to a larger community.
Sunday, where two towers once stood, water cascades down the sides of two square pools, footprints of those giants. No longer do we see the massive piles of tangled steel and concrete that formed before our eyes 10 years ago.
Together, on this Memorial Day 2011, our community gathers at the cemetery on the hill above our town. Among the granite and marble stones, flags of red, white and blue mark the graves of men and women who served in the armed forces of the United States of America. We are here for them.
Our veterans understand what we civilians can only wonder about. They place a higher value than the rest of us upon going to sleep at night and awakening each morning without fear.