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Safety Matters: Remember the fallen heroes, on Memorial Day

SPRINGVILLE — Earlier this month, during the celebration of Armed Forces Week, in downtown Buffalo, I met and chatted with a 90-year-old veteran.

This man proudly wore his decorated uniform, while telling me about the tours he served in Europe.

During our conversation, I reflected on how I was simultaneously both happy and slightly melancholy.

I was happy, because I was able to engage with living history, by talking to this war hero and learning about all he had been through. Yet, I knew his time on this earth, like so many others of the “greatest generation,” was slowly dwindling. It has been estimated that between 700 and 1,000 United States World War II veterans die, each day.

With the upcoming Memorial Day weekend soon upon us, I am encouraging everyone to reflect on the reason we observe this solemn day. It truly is a day to honor those bold patriots, who have risen in defense of this great country.

Unfortunately, traditional observances of Memorial Day have diminished, over the years. Many people have forgotten the true meaning of this great day and see it as yet another store sale day, on which to buy tangible items.

But, really, this holiday represents something utterly intangible: the suffering our brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers endured and continue to endure, while protecting our country.

Many individuals were not able to grow old or raise families. They paid the ultimate price.

On this Memorial Day, please remember the fallen, who have given so much, so that we can live free today. Don’t miss a chance to thank a hero. You might not get another.

Freedom does have a price, that the protected will never know. May God bless and keep close those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and may God bless these United States of America!

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