Thursday, May 23, 2013
Monday is the day we officially observe Memorial Day. May 30 is the actual commemoration of the men and women who have died while in service in the armed forces of the United States.
For many of us who are veterans or family members of veterans, the remembrance of the honored dead is important.
Whether you’ve ever served in the military or not, you owe your freedoms and your responsibilities as an American to those who have paid for your freedoms with their blood.
That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with taking a day off to go to the beach, to take advantage of a good bargain in a store, or to enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers or barbecue.
The really important thing to do, though, is to honor those who have gone before us.
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
— John 15:13
While that’s a quote from the Bible, the idea is appropriate regardless of religious faith.
The “Colonials” in the years leading up to the American Revolution had to wrestle with the idea that they had connections with one another in America, greater than the connections to the “mother countries” of Europe.
Thomas Lynch Sr. (1726-1776) and Thomas Lynch Jr. (1749-1779) were owners of Hopsewee Plantation on the North Santee River in Georgetown County. The son signed the Declaration of Independence. A space was left for Thomas Lynch Sr. to sign, but he was unable to because of a stroke. The senior Lynch was among the advisors to George Washington who were appointed by the First Continental Congress.
Christopher Gadsden of Georgetown, Charleston and Cheraw designed the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag used in the Revolutionary War, the Marine Corps and the Naval Jack given to Commodore Esek Hopkins of the fledgling United States Navy.
Many other local people, famous and not so famous, have played large roles in the history of Georgetown County, South Carolina, the United States and the world.
What’s significant for Memorial Day is the fact that so many people have literally given their lives to secure our liberty.
Whether you observe Memorial Day on the last Monday of May, on the “real” date of May 30, or South Carolina’s Confederate Memorial Day of May 10, the recognition and the remembrance of those who have died for liberty is what’s important.
To all our veterans — the living, as well as those who have died — we thank you.