Brian J. Duffy

This Memorial Day, let us pause to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and so made our freedoms possible.

Another Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and undoubtedly the backyard grills will again be dragged out of their winter hibernation. Many area pools will open for the season, and the nearby shopping malls will be crowded with eager shoppers, looking to capture the ultimate bargain. In a great part, the meaning of the Memorial Day weekend will once again be eclipsed by these events.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I plan to participate in most of the above activities myself. I am just asking that each of us take a moment to reflect, as we travel through the malls, enjoy the pools and backyard gatherings this weekend, on those that made it possible. Among the faces you will see at the malls are veterans; perhaps you don't even have to go that far, as you might have a veteran in your family or even next door. Wouldn't that veteran be touched if you simply said thank you, or finally bought that flag for the outside of the house and flew it this Memorial Day weekend? Lately, I've noticed how popular it has become to fly a Seasonal/Novelty flag or, in my area, a University of Kentucky or University of Louisville, flag outside many houses, yet sadly those same houses seem to be barren of a United States flag on Memorial Day and other patriotic holidays. Has it become that unpopular to be patriotic?

Take heart, being patriotic is now considered chic again with those on Madison Avenue. If you travel the malls this Memorial Day weekend, you will see numerous flag-decorated, "Red

White and Blue Sale" banners advertising bargain prices on almost any product. But Memorial Day really should be focused on another "price." The veterans who we remember this holiday weekend paid with their lives...for our freedom. The flying of our country's flag by each citizen would be a perfect tribute to those fallen veterans. The red of the flag symbolizes the courage and the blood they shed for our country. The white symbolizes the youth and innocence harbored in the hearts of the many young men and women who left to serve in wartime. The field of stars symbolizes their eternal rest, their work done.

So, by all means enjoy this Memorial Day weekend but remember those that provided you with the freedom to do so. If you love your freedom...thank a Vet, and fly the Flag!

God bless America!