Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Memorial Day

This coming weekend, there will be plenty of opportunity for fun and recreation in our area. If you are in town, be sure to check out the 32nd annual Rochester Area Heritage Festival, held in the Rochester Municipal Park on Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24. The festival offers a wide variety of activities for the whole family, including food, music, a pioneer village, Civil War re-enactments, crafts, vintage baseball and car shows. While you're there, don't forget to stop by the Rochester Avon Historical Society booth! (A full schedule of events is available on the Festival web site.)

The Rochester community has faithfully observed Memorial Day ever since it was first set aside for the purpose of honoring the memory of the nation's war dead. Summer fun is great, but Memorial Day in our town is more than just the official opening of the summer season. On Monday, please take time out to participate in the community's formal observance of this solemn holiday. The Memorial Day parade will depart from Mt. Avon Cemetery at 10 a.m., after a brief wreath-laying ceremony. The parade route will follow Harding and Livernois Roads to the Veterans Memorial Pointe at Avon & Livernois, where a Memorial Day service will be held. I urge you to attend if you are in the area.

I am a military wife. During my husband's 20 years of active duty with the United States Air Force, neither I nor any member of his family had to accept a folded flag from an honor guard member, offered with the thanks of a grateful nation. But I am keenly aware of all of the military spouses and parents who have done so, and it does not seem like too much to ask of me to set aside a small portion of my time on Monday to remember the sacrifice of their loved ones in defense of my liberty. I hope you will join me in doing the same.

If you can't make it to the parade or service, try to stop by the restored World War II Honor Roll at the east end of the Rochester Municipal Building, and spend a few minutes reading the names of the members of the Rochester community – more than 1,100 of them – who served in uniform during that war. Take special note of the names marked with a gold star, denoting those who lost their lives in the conflict.

Remember them and their sacrifices.
Respect their final resting places.
Reflect on this.

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