What Memorial Day is all about

Memorial Day has become known as the unofficial start of summer and a chance to cookout and enjoy a long weekend.

That isn't why we have the day off though.

We have the day off to honor all those who gave their lives in service to our nation. This holiday is a day of remembrance and reflection. We should take time on Monday to think about what the more than 1,090,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who died in wartime means to each of us. We also should take the time to remember those who, having survived war, are now no longer with us.

We must remember the men and women - most of whom were no older than those of us attending college - who fought bravely for their fellow comrades, and also for those they would never know or meet. The heroes who fought in World War II secured for us a world of freedom. The heroes of Korea and Vietnam stood firm to stop the onslaught and spread of an evil ideology like communism.

We must take the time to at the very least say thank you to our heroes. This holiday is not for me, I survived the war I fought, rather this holiday is for the ones who did not survive. It is for those who lie buried in the fields of France and the jungles of Vietnam.

This year, take a moment to remember those who fought a gave their lives for this nation. It is the very least we could do for them.