Here it is, again friends: Memorial Day weekend. Already!
And, although many celebrate this holiday as the one which signifies the beginning of barbecue season, or the period when it's fashionable to wear white shoes; that's not the point, really.
Sure, scores of folks enjoy the furniture sales, retail discounts, and parades featuring politicians and dance troupes which typically occur during Memorial Day weekend.
And while there's nothing wrong with any of that, it's certainly not what Memorial Day is truly about.
According to the official website of the U.S. Department of Defense www.defense.gov, Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May each year and honors the men and women who died while serving in the American military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
The website goes on to explain that many Americans "observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades."
As for Tribune Chronicle columnists, some of them - OK, one of them in particular - feels the need to honor fallen U.S. soldiers with some original poetry. And here it goes:
It may have happened yesterday,
Or perhaps the day before.
It might have occurred many years ago
On some far-off foreign shore.
It might have been while we were at war
Or during a time of "peace."
You may have been part of a company
Or serving in a fleet.
You may have been in a fox hole
Or standing on a wall.
You might've fought to guard a border,
Protecting those great and small.
You were black and you were white,
Yellow, brown and all between.
You were short, tall, male and female.
Some were seasoned, some were green.
You may have been a corporal,
A lieutenant or a captain.
Perhaps you were a sergeant
Or a starry-eyed new ensign.
They may have brought you home at last
To your family and your friends.
Or maybe your final selfless act was such
That only God knows where and when.
Whoever you were, however you gave
There's one thing that's for sure
The gratitude with which we honor you
Will always, always endure.
On behalf of every person
Who enjoys a life that's free--
All I can say is THANK YOU
For all you've done for me.
Please know that your ultimate sacrifice
Did not occur in vain.
I'll be forever in your debt
Even if I didn't know your name.
To you, the American soldiers
Who died for my liberty
Rest assured that you are in my prayers
For all eternity.
This Memorial Day - and always - please remember all who took their last breath making sure we could enjoy every imaginable liberty and freedom.
Happy Memorial Day, everyone!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.