The News Editorial: Lest we forget
May 27, 2021
You turn on the TV, scroll through social media, listen to conversations at the grocery store or over coffee and you hear and see the divisiveness that exists in our world today.
On Monday, there is something that everyone should agree on, everyone should observe and celebrate no matter party affiliation, religion, race, gender or any other thing that may divide us. What is that? It is the observance of Memorial Day.
Memorial Day, first established as Decoration Day following the Civil War, the holiday was set aside for families and friends to visit and decorate the graves of troops lost in conflict, per the military.com website.
Congress in 1971 declared the official holiday on the last Monday in May.
So often the sacrifices of our military men and women are forgotten and Memorial Day becomes just another three-day weekend to go camping, boating, fishing, plant a garden and more.
According to military.com, “To ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed, and the president signed into law, “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance.
“The commission’s charter is to ‘encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity’ by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: ‘It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.’”
While it will not be at 3 p.m., the American Legion Post 44 will this year, as it has every year, conduct services at both the Worland and Ten Sleep cemeteries.
Worland’s service will be at 11 a.m. and Ten Sleep is at 1:30 p.m.
I encourage everyone to come and join the American Legion in remembrance of those who served our country bravely and who sacrificed everything for freedom in our country and abroad.
During the service wreaths are laid out in memory of those fallen in defense of the United States of America by attendees representing the military branches and war periods throughout our country’s history.
This year along with Sen. Cynthia Lummis, Worland and Ten Sleep will be fortunate to hear from a homegrown brigadier general.
Thermopolis native and Wyoming National Guard Brigadier General Justin Walrath will give Memorial Day remarks at both Worland and Ten Sleep.
General Walrath was born and raised in Thermopolis and graduated from Hot Springs County High School in 1987. He then attended the U.S. Air Force Academy, graduating in 1991. He served on active duty for 10 years before joining the Wyoming Air National Guard. He joined the Guard in 2000, and with his promotion to Brigadier General in February of this year, he became an advisor to the Wyoming Adjutant General.
The services end, with the a three-shot volley and the playing of “Taps” to honor our fallen heroes.
No matter what side of the fence you are on, on any debate, the reason you have the freedom to express your views is because of the sacrifices of those who have served.
Monday is a day to honor those who died in that service. Honoring that sacrifice and service is something we should all agree on and support.