Take time to pay hommage to the real heroes who have sacrificed so much for us

Published 5:53 pm Saturday, May 26, 2018

The school year is winding down, graduations are over, vacations are being planned and the start of summer officially began this weekend.

Many of us will be enjoying this holiday weekend to celebrate Memorial Day with backyard barbecues and fellowship with friends and family, which is wonderful. But while doing so, keep in mind the reason why we are able to enjoy this time together with those who mean the most to us. Remember to pause and realize Memorial Day is supposed to be a solemn holiday — a time to thank those military veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedom.

In November 1864, President Abraham Lincoln is believed to have written a personal letter of condolence to Lydia Bixby, a mother believed to have lost possibly five sons in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

In the letter Lincoln writes: “I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.”

Since then, thousands of other young men and women have sacrificed their lives to preserve the freedoms of the greatest Republic ever created. That sacrifice should always be remembered — especially on this weekend.

That remembrance should also include the families of those military veterans who did not come back home to their loved ones. They too have made a huge sacrifice in the loss of a son or daughter, sister or brother, husband or wife. Those families will never be whole again and should be in our thoughts and prayers.

So this holiday weekend, before you enjoy that burger and hot dog, pause to honor and respect those soldiers who laid down their life on the altar of freedom. Attend the Parade of Veterans beginning at 10 a.m. in downtown Vicksburg, the 11 a.m. Memorial Service in the city auditorium and wreath-laying ceremony in the National Cemetery at 12:30 p.m.