Once again our country will observe Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor our deceased veterans. Unfortunately, like many of our nation's customs, Memorial Day has evolved into something quite different.
While cemeteries still flutter with flags placed on veterans' graves, some people see the day as a "celebration" of sorts. Parades and ceremonies attended by some patriotic Americans are often an afterthought to those more interested in sporting events or park openings. Sadly, many of our country's beliefs and customs have "evolved" over the years. Hard-working Americans are often seen as "suckers," while many of today's citizens feel the government was established to take care of them, from cradle to grave. Our "heroes" are athletes or entertainers who are paid millions for doing things we do for fun, while young men and women in uniform risk life and limb for little pay and even less recognition.
Since this is an election year, it should be noted that politics, too, has "evolved" into something unsavory. Too many of us vote for candidates because we're "told to" by family, friends, unions or newscasters, instead of looking at qualifications or character. Instead of debating issues, people now resort to mud-slinging and racial or social accusations. We shy away from anyone advocating a balanced budget or eliminating our trade deficit, and cast our ballots for shysters who promise us government subsidies and cheap foreign goods.
Families and churches have lost their importance and influence, while money has become our new "God." To emphasize our lost heritage, I would urge all area churches to choose our National Anthem as one of their hymns on Sunday, with special attention to the seldom heard second stanza. Unlike the more familiar first stanza that various "artists" often butcher at sporting events, the second stanza shows a reverence for religion and veterans that has been too long forgotten. Please honor our veterans of the past and present on Memorial Day.
-- Bob Cameron, Newton Falls