Attend a Memorial Day ceremony

People in Minot and around the country on Monday will remember and honor those who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces, as well as deceased friends and family members who did not serve.

Memorial Day, it seems, means a lot of things to a lot of people. Some simply consider it the unofficial beginning of summer while most of us consider it much more than that.

It is largely, and should be, a solemn time for remembering those who have sacrificed for us all. Freedom comes at a price, afterall.

Hosting huge ceremonies, as Minot has for more than 100 years, also takes sacrifice. Organizers and participants are not usually paid for their efforts. There are a lot of them and they deserve our thanks heading into the holiday weekend.

A quick glance at the precede story in Friday’s edition lists many of the participants in area programs.

In Minot, Lt. Col. Matthew L. Stanley, deputy commander of the 5th Operations Group at Minot Air Force Base, will give the address and Samantha Redding, Miss North Dakota USA, will perform the national anthem for the program at Rosehill Memorial Park.

That program will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the original Veterans Section. David Heintzleman of Newburg will serve as master of ceremonies. Others taking part include veterans organizations and auxiliaries, 1st Lt. Danny Watton, a chaplain at Minot AFB, and Steve Veikley of Minot.

The Minot American Legion Post 26 and Unit 26 Auxiliary are in charge of this year’s Memorial Day program and Strewing of the Flowers ceremony – always a moving event.

We thank you all.

Surrounding cities also rely on volunteers to headline their events, such as at Lansford where Air Force Maj. Mark J. Johanning will speak.

At Sherwood, U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer will be the featured speaker, Allan Magnuson, Post commander, will give the welcome and a Canadian Legionnaire will give the Canadian welcome.

Pastor Norman Paskowsky, Terry Miller, Wayne Artz, Ron Heller, Brian Miller, Kalli Smith, Jarett and Steve Keith, and American and Canadian Legions also are on the program.

To these and countless others behind the scenes, our thanks go out to you as well.

Considering all of the time and effort that goes into putting on a community’s Memorial Day ceremony, it would not seem too difficult to attend one nearby. You might have to drive a few miles to get there or stand out in the rain a few minutes; consider those minor inconveniences to demonstrate appreciation for great sacrifice.

We are losing so many of our veterans every day. Let’s not let an opportunity to honor them pass with our hands by our sides. Face a flag, cover your heart and give thanks.