A time to honor those who gave their lives for our country -- to protect our flag as our way of life, we decorate graves, place wreaths on monuments, hold parades and give speeches.

All this to remind ourselves and our children of the sacrifice many have made to keep this land free.

It used to be called "Decoration Day." A day to place flags and flowers on the graves of veterans.

Sometimes it seems the day is no longer about the sacrifice of our departed comrades. It seems to be picnics, swimming, party time to start the summer season.

This is not completely out of place. It can be right to celebrate the good life and freedoms these veterans died for. But we -- the veterans of today -- need to keep the meaning of Memorial Day true.

Take time to attend the memorial services. Take time to teach our young people why we have a holiday called "Memorial Day."

Yes, enjoy the sunshine -- have a great picnic -- put the boat in the water -- but remember those who gave us the freedom to enjoy all these things.

I invite all the veterans of Westport to participate in the parade and the memorial services following. You don't have to be a member of any veterans organization. Just come down to Riverside Avenue and join with the other veterans in remembering our fallen comrades.

Bill Vornkahl

Memorial Day parade

chairman

Westport Veterans Council