A time to honor the fallen

Every year, thousands of young men and women make the commitment to serve in our nation’s military. Unfortunately, during times of armed conflict, some of them end up giving their lives in order to protect the freedoms we enjoy.

Memorial Day is a yearly reminder of the sacrifices made by so many on behalf of the citizens of this country. Late last year, the New Prague area had a harsh lesson as we buried one of our own, Cpl. Dale Means of the U.S. Marine Corps, who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Afghanistan. He was believed to be the first New Prague area soldier lost in combat since the end of World War II.

Memorial Day is also about honoring military veterans who have passed. They too made sacrifices of their time, some giving years of service that kept them away from family and friends.

New Prague is proud of its servicemen and women. Acontingent of local veterans goes to several area cemeteries each year on Memorial Day, to lay a wreath, to honor the deceased veterans who are buried there, read a list of those veterans at the cemetery, and to fire a salute and play Taps in their honor.

This tradition, along with a parade and service at Memorial Park, continues this Monday. A lot of people have plans for barbecues, for yard work or other leisure time activities during the Memorial Day weekend, to enjoy their “freedom.”

If you can’t come to one of the services, at least take some time to reflect on those who sacrificed so much to give you that freedom.