Honoring those who made ultimate sacrifice

Our nation — most of us, at least — took time in our own way over the Memorial Day holiday to honor those who serve or served in our military.

At times during my life, Memorial Day has seemed not so important, more of a vacation than a time to remember.

Times have changed.

I was a child during the Vietnam War and have few recollections of that difficult time.

I’m thankful for that because the way we treated the men and women who served our country there is a terrible shame.

Since Sept. 11, most of us have family, friends or neighbors whose lives as they knew them came to a halt when a loved one was called to military service.

Now, it doesn’t take Memorial Day to make us all grateful.

Our opinions differ widely on our nation’s involvement with our present military deployment.

However, like in Vietnam, we should all recognize our sovereignty — our very way of life – depends upon the men and women who leave their jobs and their families and risk their lives for the rest of us.

We should do more than simply thank them for their service. So many come home only to find they have lost their job and can’t find a new one.

In addition to the emotional issues involved, their service to our country has put their family in economic jeopardy. We shouldn’t let that happen.

For the families of soldiers who have paid the ultimate price, we as a nation should do more, particularly for children left behind, to ensure their education and futures.

Honoring our military men and women by making their service less of a financial burden to them and the families they leave behind should be a national priority.