This is the Memorial Day weekend, of course, and it is a solemn occasion (Enjoy the Funeral), not just the unofficial beginning of summer, the time when every gallon of paint in the country is on sale, and the first weekend of sunscreen and salt-water taffy.
The purpose of Memorial Day is to honor those who died in the service of this country. Many of us will generalize or politicize that statement, saying instead that Memorial Day is for honoring those who died fighting for (or protecting) our freedom. These are not synonymous statements.
Not all of the battles we’ve fought have been for the purpose of fighting for or protecting our freedom. It’s not that simple; we’ve sometimes fought for the freedom of others, and many of us believe that we have sometimes fought for the political purposes of a few.
Many Americans, most of whom had barely begun to live, died because of what we determined was worth fighting for; therefore, we need to be accurate about those reasons.
Surely, we respect those who died in our service enough to do that.