Defenders of the Faith,

Please support President Bush in putting prayer in the forefront and in the heart and mind of Americans.  Please take more than a moment to think about our Veteran's.  They were here for us when we needed them!  Now we must be there for them!

To quote the legendary James Brown, "Please, Please, Please"  - go visit a Veteran this Memorial Day!  Please let them know how much they are appreciated! 

Remember Memorial Day weekend is not just a holiday weekend, but a celebration of those who gave their lives to keep us free.  Go to your local VA and visit a Vet Memorial Day weekend!

With Purpose

Dannion Brinkley

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Commentary: It's a duty to reflect on Memorial Day

by Staff Sgt. Marcia Triggs

This Memorial Day, May 27, at 3 p.m. the president wants the nation to take a moment and remember the men and women who died while serving their country.

When I first heard the request, I said to myself I hope I don't forget. Then almost immediately, I became shameful for not realizing that it's my duty as a soldier to remember my fallen comrades.

There are too many of us out there who have Memorial Day circled on the calendar as a way to remember May's four-day weekend, instead of as a day of recognition and memorializing.

I'm speaking out against this disgraceful act because as a journalist, I've unsuccessfully tried holding back too many tears while covering Sept. 11 memorials. President George W. Bush wants us to put "memorial" back in Memorial Day, and spend a minute paying tribute to people who will never be forgotten in the hearts of the children, spouses and parents that they left behind.

The nation officially started celebrating Memorial Day in May 1868. In the beginning, it was proclaimed to be a day for decorating the graves of the Civil War dead. Since the Civil War, the United States has fought in seven wars, including the War on Terrorism, according to a statistical summary of America's Major Wars. In those wars more than a half million men and women in uniform have lost their lives, the summary states.

Not all of the deaths occurred on the front lines, with people engaged in direct conflict with the enemy. But just knowing the freedoms I treasure so much came at the price of their lives is enough to make me want to whisper a silent thank-you.

Commanding officers service-wide will be encouraging their troops to take one minute to simultaneously pause in an act of national unity. The minute of reflecting on fallen heroes is not to replace regular scheduled Memorial Day activities, officials said, but to highlight the purpose of the 134-year-old tradition.

Installation radio and television stations are encouraged to announce the moment and then play Taps, and those driving at the time should turn on their headlights.

When the day was first observed, people were discouraged from having picnics and other forms of public entertainment. Supporters for Memorial Day worked to keep the day a solemn occasion.

I'm not going to spend the day grieving. Instead, I'm going to bask knowing that I meant enough to someone that they died for me to be free.

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