Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 24, 2018

Memorial Day is Monday

By David Hotle

I was in college and I remember seeing many images on television and in newspapers of a man standing in front of a line of tanks.
Exactly 26 years ago today — May 20, 1989 — was when Chinese pro-communist authorities declared martial law in certain areas of Beijing in the face of pro-democracy demonstrations. This set the stage for Tiananmen Square protests of June 4, 1989. On many sites hundreds if not thousands of Chinese protestors (mainly workers) were murdered by their own government. Tiananmen Square became a massacre. Officials who seemed sympathetic to the protestors were demoted or “purged” from office. That wasn’t the end. After the protests, many people accused of protesting were imprisoned or executed.
Due to the martial law in China, the incident was almost not covered. Foreign correspondents worked to smuggle footage of the incident out of China. The world condemned the Chinese government’s handling of the situation.
This is only one of thousands of reasons why we need to be thankful to our veterans.
It is just a little too easy in this country to forget how good we really have it. Whatever your feelings regarding the protestors during recent events in Baltimore or Ferguson, we can still take comfort in the notion that we can still express our opinion in public without having to worry that a tyrant will shoot us to keep us silent.
Keep your freedoms and liberties in mind this coming Monday. It is Memorial Day, the day we remember the people who gave everything in the defense of their country and in defense of our freedom. Many died on foreign battlefields, thousands of miles from home. They put aside their personal needs to ensure that this country, and the beliefs of liberty it was founded on, would not vanish from the face of this earth.
Is one morning to remember the people who gave us the great gift of liberty too much to ask?  This year the flag raising is at 8 a.m. in front of the Washington post office, followed by the ceremony at the Crooked Creek Bridge on Old Highway 92. The main ceremony will be held in the Washington High School varsity gym. From what I under stand the speaker, Dr. Noli Mendoza, is very dynamic. I, for one, am looking forward to hearing him speak.
What can I say? Just showing up and showing your gratitude doesn’t seem like a lot when compared to the sacrifice our men and women in uniform have made to ensure safety and freedom.
If Monday is not good for you, come out to Elm Grove or Woodlawn cemeteries at about 4 p.m. Thursday and assist the Sons of The American Legion in putting flags on veterans’ graves. There are 1,400 flags to place and I am sure they would appreciate any help.