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Memorial Day through time

May 24, 2019
Editorial , Lake Placid News

Memorial Day 1942

Memorial Day this year will mean more to us. Because on May 30, 1942, is brought home to us the fact that our men and boys are again lying in wars.

Our memories might have become a bit hazy in the intervening years since the first world war and few remember much of the wars before that although we still honor the graves of all war dead no matter how far back they fell in battle. Only a fraction of the casualties already incurred in the United States forces in the current war have yet been reported as the nature of the tragedies in the Phillipines, Corregidor and Bataan hinders an accurate reporting of losses of our men who now find their graves on foregn soil or in foreign waters. The mourning tomorrow will not be like the mourning a year from tomorrow when the full shock of our losses has been imprinted on our minds and hearts. So while we are paying tribute to those long dead, let us add an urgent prayer to help the parents and the loved ones who must suffer greatly before this turmoil is over.

The men who have died under our flag would have it so.

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Memorial Day 1946

In the childhood days of some of us, May 30 was more generally known as "Decoration Day."

On that day, involving the United States, wars were generally relegated in our thoughts to the past. Future wars were not considered within the realm of possibility or of our imagination. We believed then that people were civilized. We had ideals; ideals which were rudely shattered by world war 1 and world war 2.

On "Decoration Day" both young and old then visited the cemeteries, placing flowers on the graves of the known and unknown. Over the graves of those who had died thru the strife of the Civil and Spanish wars, a volley was fired, followed by the solemn sounding of the taps. This was even then a sober occasion.

Now there are more graves to "decorate"; several million more soldier dead in the world today. In the formal cemeteries more flags will be placed and suitable ceremonies held. But at the last resting places of thousands there will be no marks to indicate the spots, no dear ones to plant lovingly the flowers of memory. These are the graves of the "unknown soldiers" lying in the thick of the jungle and in more remote areas elsewhere.

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Memorial Day 2019

As we put Memorial Day in perspective by reprinting the Lake Placid News editorials from 1942 and 1946 - the beginning and the end of World War II - let's catch up a little and remind our citizens that it's not only the men who have died for the United States in battle, but there have been and continue to be women dying during wars as soldiers, nurses, doctors, etc.

Furthermore, the battles have piled up since 1946, and we continue to fight wars across the world in the name of our country. Whether we agree with the politics or not, we owe it to our men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces to honor them every Memorial Day by decorating their graves, remembering their lives and thanking them for their ultimate sacrifice.

 
 
 

 

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