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Letters: Memorial Day meaning is lost

Members of the 119th NY, from Old Bethpage

Members of the 119th NY, from Old Bethpage Village, as they head down Greenwich Street during the Hempstead Memorial Day parade. (May 27, 2012) Credit: Steven Sunshine

We, as a nation, have lost the true meaning of Memorial Day [“How will your congregation observe Memorial Day?” On Faith, May 22]. This day was put aside to remember, honor and pay tribute to those that died for the United States.

It saddens me, as it should all Americans, that this day has been reduced to a sale day at home improvement and furniture chains, as well as car dealerships.

With all the meaningless laws passed by our bloated, self-serving Congress, why not pass a patriotic piece of legislation? Memorial Day is a national holiday in name — make it one in fact. Require all businesses to be closed.

Michael J. Genzale, Shoreham


Memorial Day is not just about barbecues, trips to see friends and family or visits to the beach. It’s not even about having a three-day respite from the daily grind. It’s about remembering those who served and who are no longer among us.

Memorial Day is about acknowledging those older people you see, sadly with less frequency, who are wearing caps embroidered with either World War II Veteran, Korean War Veteran, Vietnam Vet, etc. They wear these hats because they don’t have to wear ones that say Make America Great Again — because they know with every sinew that because of their service and that of others, it never stopped being great.

Memorial Day is also about thanking those currently serving, no matter the faulty roots of the Iraq conflict.

Edward B. “Woody” Ryder IV, Greenlawn