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With Memorial Day less then a week away, the observances for our fallen veterans have already begun. Last Saturday morning, Armed Forces Day, members of the Manistique American Legion Post 83, and two young Americans took time to remember those who gave their lives and put out flags honoring fallen veterans at Lakeview and Fairview Cemeteries.
It’s just one small American flag, but it stands for so much as it decorates the final resting places of our fallen soldiers and marines.
Many people confuse Memorial Day with Veteran’s Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered on Veteran’s Day, Veteran’s Day is the day set aside to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime.
There was one moment when all the flags were put out when Dick Ketcik, who is an 80-year-old veteran, stopped and looked out at the vast cemetery painted with red, white, and blue and said, “There are too many flags.”
According to statistics released by the Veteran’s Administration, our World War II veterans are dying at a rate of just over 600 a day. This means there are approximately 1.2 million veterans remaining of the 16 million who served our nation in World War II.
Without the brave efforts of all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines and their families, this nation, along with our allies around the world, would not stand so boldly, shine so brightly and live so freely.