“It’s important to remember why we have Memorial Day. They need to remember it’s more than just a day off of school or work. The sacrifice so many the past 239 years made is what we remember. That’s why we celebrate it,” said ROTC student Mike Jones of the holiday weekend.
Schools around the country take a break from classes on the last Monday of May to celebrate Memorial Day and honor the soldiers who have died in wars. For SOU Students, who also had a Furlough day Tuesday, the weekend lasted at least four days, depending on class schedule. “For Memorial Day, I had a five day weekend because I don’t have any classes on Friday,” explained freshman student Jacob Dalton of his extended weekend.
Dalton explained how he took notice of the displays of patriotism around Ashland and surrounding cities. “Everybody had a lot of American Flags and red white and blue decorations out all over their yards.” He enjoyed the time off, getting to relax and take a break from schoolwork for the day. “Me and my family went to the park and had a nice picnic… I very much enjoyed spending time with my family on Memorial Day.”
Mike Jones, freshman ROTC student went on to explain his thoughts on the holiday. “It should be celebrated with parades, thankfulness from our country to veterans, and with family over BBQ’s. It’s important to celebrate and commemorate it with family because that’s what was sacrificed to have what we own now—freedom.” Regardless of how the day is celebrated, the student soldier likes that the day is taken to remember fallen soldiers.
Does our country do enough to remember and thank the soldiers who have died? “I think we could do a tad more than we currently do honoring the fallen. But it’s nice to at least see flags waving along streets in local communities…We do honor the fallen in other ways by remembering 4th of July, Dec. 7th with Pearl Harbor Day…other holidays, our history classes, military discounts, Hollywood movies,” stated Jones. Though remembrance may seem like a small token of gratitude for lost lives, it appears to be appreciated. “As long as there’s a person willing to thank and remember our military members, it’s all worth it in the end.”