Memorial Day

    I heard there is a national moment of silence at 3 p.m. Regardless, I plan to observe one then.

    I grew up outside an Army base, keenly aware of the military, and I married a veteran, though I never was inclined to be one myself.

    The Army was a different beast when I was younger, less selective and the fallback position for local kids who had no future in college and no other job in sight. It took quite a while to stop thinking of it that way. Even if the armed forces weren’t pickier about who they take now, though, one thing hasn’t changed: People serve on my behalf, and I owe them thanks for the sacrifices they make and have declared themselves willing to make.

    I think to mark this day we need to hang another flag. The one we put up on Sept. 11 grew battered over time and has been folded away, but we have another I had not gotten to hanging. No time like the present.

    I know Memorial Day traditionally is for those who have died, but my friend Steve Collins used to quote me the piece about giving people their bouquets when they are alive, and I like that. Let’s honor the dead and thank the living.

    This post originally appeared on, the online home of the Midland (MI) Daily News. Republished with permission.

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