Letter: What Memorial Day really means

Memorial Day is a national holiday in the United States for remembering the men and women who died while serving in this nation's armed forces. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the last Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who had died while in the service of our nation.

Just a reminder of what this observance is all about. It is not retail stores, QVC, current veterans or service men and women. It is not the red, white and blue or sparkly do pretties. This "holiday," like so many other things is being watered down, bit by bit, into a meaningless reason to have a day off work.

The fabric of this nation is being stretched thin as it is. Do we need to stretch it further in the name of greed and self-satisfaction? This "holiday" is to remember and thank those who gave their lives so that we, as a nation, may enjoy the freedoms we have. This includes the freedoms to be selfish, right, left, upside down or to make a holiday because of their sacrifice.

It does not matter if you believe in war or even the defense of this country. What matters is that their deaths were a sacrifice for you, and you, and yes, you as well. Let us not forget this.

Monte Wilson

Valle Vista