Parades, picnics and a sense of pride. These are the things happening today—Memorial Day. A day to honor all those who have died in military service to the United States of America.
To some, today is the unofficial first day of summer. There will be picnics and gatherings with family and friends—possibly even some swimming. It is a day off work to many. But while you are enjoying the day’s activities, remember those who lost their lives so we can have the freedom to get together in such a manner.
Some of us fly flags, watch parades or, maybe, march in a parade ourselves. As a matter of fact, Emmaus will have its parade today beginning at 9 a.m. at . The route follows Chestnut Street, ending at for the annual Memorial Day service.
Upper Milford Township will not have any parades within its borders today. But some of the younger residents will be marching with the Band in the Macungie Parade. You can listen to the band's patriotic music as the youngsters walk down Main Street. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at , ending in , where the 64th annual Memorial Day service will take place.
Take a look about the township today and see the many American flags flying in the breeze at homes and in cemeteries. Listen for the bells at some of the churches as they toll for those who put themselves in harm's way for us.
Although our nation began almost 236 years ago, soldiers fought for our freedom before that. Wars and conflicts throughout our history have taken many American lives:
- Revolutionary War — 25,700 men were killed
- War of 1812 — 3,860 died
- Civil War — 500,000 soldiers lost their lives
- Spanish American War — 3,289 perished
- World War I — 116,516 were killed
- World War II — 416,800 casualties
- Korean War — 33,741 died
- Vietnam War — 58,193 soldiers were lost
- Iraq War — 3,990 perished
Today we honor and honor those 1,162,088 lives, in addition to those lost in other wars and conflicts in which the United States was involved.
They gave their lives for the freedoms we have today.
Because of them, we are free to voice our opinions, worship God as we choose, report the truth in news, bear arms, gather as a group for a cause, have a trial by jury, not be enslaved by others and more.
Today isn't really about the parades or picnics or swimming.
It is about remembering those precious lives and the rights and liberties they protected. And it's also about remembering their families, the ones who supported them and love them still.
Honor them. Remember what they sacrificed...for us.
Sources: chacha.com, about.com