Honoring Memorial Day
by Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle
Today is Memorial Day. A time for us to honor the hundreds of thousands of men and women who died in the service of our country. While this holiday entails a number of somber ceremonies and thoughtful reflection, it also gives way to a host of community activities that allow us to celebrate the freedom made possible by the sacrifices of our military.
In Huntsville, Memorial Day brings us both the Cotton Row race – a test of endurance – and poignant ceremonies at the graves of soldiers in Glenwood and Maple Hill cemeteries – a test of remembrance. It brings cookouts and water sports and a live concert at the fountains in front of the Veterans Memorial.
Whether you go to the lake, cook barbeque in your backyard, or get together with family and maybe play a game of softball, at some point the talk will turn to a family member or friend who is not there. Someone special who served and never returned.
This is the day we honor those warriors who died so that we can do all the things we do on Memorial Day. Let us never forget those who went to foreign shores to protect our freedom and our democracy. Those who left to fight so that the fight would not come home to our shores. Those who acted under orders from Presidents and Congresses. Those who did their duty.
God bless those soldiers and military service men and women who aren’t here today. They are our heroes. Today is our national Memorial Day, but each of us has a personal memorial, a personal debt to those who died. That debt is eternal.