Remembering those who served
Monday May 28, 2012 | By:Matthew Ondesko, Metro Source Editor
SOUTH BUFFALO - For many, Memorial Day is a day off from work. Itís a day they go and have a picnic and spend it with friends and family.
Sometimes, people forget the true meaning of Memorial Day.
Sure, itís a day off.
But, people wouldnít have that day off, if it wasnít for the many servicemen and women that sacrificed their lives over the years to give us that freedom that we cherish so much.
Memorial Day means different things to different people.
For me, it gives me a chance to reflect on family and friends that served this country.
It gives me a chance to remember and hear stories about my grandfather who served in the Army during World War II. Or my dad who served not one, but two, tours of duty in Vietnam.
In our house, my father doesnít talk much about what went on over in Vietnam.
He will give bits and pieces and show everybody the medals and swords that he got, but thatís about it.
It is that kind of stuff, however, that makes me appreciate this day more.
I donít know how I would have reacted if I was drafted. I remember my father telling a story that he didnít wait for the draft. That if you were a man you would just sign up Ė it was something you had to do.
I wonder if that would apply to todayís youth?
He said the Army chose him, he didnít choose the Army. They all stood in a line and said you four Army, you four Air Force and so on.
And how about my friends who signed up right before 9-11 happened. I remember that time as they tried to talk me in to joining the Army with them. I never did, instead when to college and earned a degree. Now, I cover West Point athletics at times and write stories on the local young men and women who went, or are going, to the academies.
For me that is my way of giving back to those who sacrificed so much for me.
Memorial Day is meant to be special. Sure, you can still have your cookouts and play games and have fun.
But, donít forget the real reason for Memorial Day, it is to honor all the brave men and women over the years.
So, before you fire up the barbeque, stop for a moment and give a moment of silence and reflect on where you might be if it wasnít for the brave souls who helped keep this country of ours safe.