Every Memorial Day Monday morning, my mother and father invite my children and myself to join them at Harris Township Cemetery to join more than 100 people who gather to pay tribute to the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country.

We try to get there a few minutes before the county’s color guard starts its presentation so that we can stroll through the gravesites to read the names next to plaques and small flags. It’s always a pleasure to see how my children are genuinely interested in how many people from our neighborhood served our country. They marvel at the dates on the headstones and we talk about what conflicts the veterans may have experienced. We relate them to the veterans we have in our family - some gone, some still living.

The ceremony is somber, especially as the trumpeter plays ‘Taps.’ It pulls at your heartstrings, yet it feels right to mourn and to remember why we celebrate this holiday.

It will be different this year but there are other ways we can pay tribute as Mr. St. Germain points out in today’s paper. We can dig out the photos of Grandpa in his uniform and Google ‘Korean War’ to learn about what he went through. We can use Pandora to play ‘Taps,’ participate in the 3 p.m. moment of silence and remind our children of the brave souls who fought to provide them with the all of the freedoms they enjoy today.

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