While we hope everyone who has the day off has a good time, and drives safely, we also hope you'll take a minute to recall why you can spend this holiday in freedom.
The day remembers those who died in the service of their country, at home or abroad. Whether you had a father, son, brother, uncle or distant relative who gave their life for your country's freedom, you should take a moment not just for reflection, but to say thanks to those veterans who are still with us.
It is doubtful that the men who died at Saratoga, New Orleans, Chapultepec, Gettysburg, Havana, Verdun, Bastogne, Saipan, Choisen, Ia Drang, Kuwait, or a hundred villages in Afghanistan and Iraq received much comfort from knowing everyone gets a day off in May to honor their memory.
But they didn't die to be honored on a holiday.
They died so we could celebrate our country's freedom by remembering them at least one day out of the year.
The soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen, and others who gave their lives for our country didn't do so for a barbecue in the backyard, or a day at the beach.
They died so their children and loved ones and people they don't even know can be assured of the right to live free as Americans, to worship as we choose, to vote, to raise a family and own a home and improve themselves and yes, enjoy a day off.
It is doubtful many folks headed out for a day's relaxation will pay much attention to the flags that will be placed on graves throughout our country.
Even though the Iraqi war is for all intents and purposes finished, the War on Terror grinds on. But the burst of patriotism we all felt after Sept. 11 seems to have faded slightly.
Just because we don't have a televised war on every channel right now doesn't mean we should pack the flags and the bunting away until the next catastrophic attack.
We still have American men and women in uniform fighting in a half-dozen spots around the world. They are still pursuing those cowards who used planeloads of innocent people instead of guns to attack our country.
Occasionally, some of those men and women get killed. They too, will be honored by this day, although again, we fear many folks won't think about that.
Take the time over the long weekend to seek out a living veteran and tell them thanks for their sacrifice. In an area like ours, where patriotism and service to one's country are much more than a lofty ideal, you won't have to look far.
Maybe you can find the survivor of one of those fallen, and tell them thanks.
At the very least, visit a Veteran's Memorial-there are several in the county-or go find one of those lonely mounds with the flat bronze marker and reflect for a minute. Many a cemetery in the county bears such a reminder that we have heroes among us, and some have fallen.
If you don't have the time, or you have too much to do, don't worry-those whom we honor will forgive you.
They died so we can do such things as honoring our dead, loving our country-or going to the beach because we have a spare day off from work.