What should Memorial Day be all about?
Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph Merrill asked attendees at Ripon’s annual Memorial Day program to consider that question.
“It seems over the years, though, we’ve been told many different things we should think about Memorial Day,” he said while speaking to the crowd Monday at Ripon’s Village Green. “Things like, ‘Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer.’ ‘This is the best weekend to buy furniture, appliances, a car.’”
That, of course, was not the message the 1981 graduate of Ripon High School had for those in attendance.
After a 21-year career in the Army, Merrill had a different perspective on Memorial Day.
“Work gives many of us a three-day weekend to enjoy and relax. These aren’t bad things ... but none of them get to the true meaning of the day,” he said. “Memorial day reminds us that freedom has a cost — a cost many families endure every single day.”