Thomas Howard: Make time to remember our heroes

By THOMAS HOWARD,

On Monday, May 25, our nation will celebrate Memorial Day, a holiday declared in memory of the men and women of the armed services who gave their lives for their country. Under normal circumstances, those of us in the news business would be compiling lists of ceremonies and events, divvying them up to make sure a reporter were present at each.

But these are not normal circumstances. Under the threat of coronavirus, Memorial Day will look a lot different.

There won’t be many parades on Monday. Ceremonies, those that are still being held, will be small, limited to just a few in-person attendees, possibly virtual with residents tuning in on social media, television and live video streams.

Memorial Day will look different, but the spirit of the holiday is one thing that will not change. It’s not lost on me that my profession is founded on the very principles the men and women we honor Monday died to defend. In some places in the world a citizen would not be allowed to walk into a public meeting, write down, record and video everything their officials say and report it back to the community. In even fewer places would a citizen be able to publish disparaging opinion of their leaders without fear of backlash.

In the United States, we enjoy many liberties not offered to those in other nations because of those that fought to defend them. From the right to assemble, which we’ve seen recently with the lockdown protests, to freedom of religion, all of us take advantage of the rights and freedoms in this country daily.

Although there may not be a ceremony to attend or a parade to watch Monday, I urge each of you to make time to reflect on the freedoms that have shaped your life and remember the people that died to give them to you.

You can contact Thomas Howard at thoward@newtoncountyappeal.com