Memorial Day is a time to remember

Friday, May 23, 2008

To the Editor:

Midnight tonight will be the official kick off of our Memorial Day weekend.

To some of us it is a weekend of remembrance of those lost in the line of duty in service for our country. Sadly, to some it will be just another excuse to drink and drive. While they put innocent lives in danger. And I guess that is their choice to make. After all, all the service men and women who this holiday is in honor of, died to give them that freedom.

Except for one little thing that they tend to over look. It is not legal to drink and drive. I wonder how many will die this weekend because of some drunk driver who is celebrating?

Memorial Day, first known as Decoration Day, started following the Civil War to honor the memories of the men in the Union Army who lost their lives. It wasn't until after World War I that it was changed to include all wars. It is an American Holiday to celebrate those who gave their lives in the line of duty. And while some were drafted and not given a choice in many wars, there were millions more who volunteered.

Lest we forget why Tennessee is known as the Volunteer State. It is not known for that because of a football team as so many young people today may believe. But because so many volunteered to fight in earlier wars.

While the last Monday in May is a paid holiday for some, there are so many who have forgotten its true meaning. Cookouts are fun and nothing is wrong with being with family and friends to celebrate. If you have to drink, don't drive. Stay with your friends that night or call a taxi. But please do not drink and drive. A human life lost, is not worth that glass or bottle of booze.

While there have been military people in my family as far back as we can trace, none have died in battle. But it is a day that I give high honor to. There are many men and women from Bedford County in service to our country at this time.

While you may be drinking and smoking your pot or whatever else you do, they are in foxholes or ducking enemy fire to give you that freedom. I ask that God keeps His hand on all of our men and women here at home or overseas in service to our great land.

And I ask you, wherever you are to please stay off the road if you are drinking. Because you are special in God's eyes also. And no life is worth loosing to the evils of drugs and booze.

I thank each of our men and women who fight daily for us. Whether it be here at home or in some far away land for serving and protecting us. I give thanks to our local law enforcement and fire fighters and EMTs, who daily put their lives on the line for us.

Above all I give thanks to Jesus, who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. May God bless them all and keep them safe this Memorial Day weekend and each day of the year. You will never be forgotten in my heart.

Gail Mills Claxton