Long weekend holds no respect

Memorial Day weekend came upon us once again, celebrated in typical Bowling Green student tradition – Slip ‘N Slides, beer and grills. With this day marking the unofficial beginning of summer, the festivities were in full swing, yet rarely an American flag was seen. Why have we tailored this holiday to our own recreation rather than serving its original purpose?

The primary goal of Memorial Day is to bring recognition to our veterans and honor our current troops serving abroad. However, a mere 30 people were in attendance at the Memorial Day parade downtown, though the ceremonies at the cemetery and courthouse did witness a larger turnout of supporters.

Instead, students take this extended weekend as an opportunity to save money on mattresses, cars and lawn furniture during the annual Memorial Day sales.

But with the current turmoil in the Middle East, we should create an awareness of the sacrifices our soldiers are making every day, as well as remembering those who have completed their service to this country. It is their efforts that have inspired the holiday that we have taken for granted with spending sprees and less than respectful celebration.

A more appropriate observance could involve the simple act of displaying the flag in your window or on your porch.

An even better idea is to educate yourself on the current situation of our fighting men and women overseas by reading the news and following the events as they develop.

To fully understand the situation, we could all try putting ourselves in the shoes of those who have been directly affected.

The average college student’s perception of the holiday differs greatly from that of a family whose loved ones are serving thousands of miles away. One cannot wholly appreciate the gravity felt by those who have experienced the uncertainty of military conflict.

Likewise, it is also difficult for the common person to experience true, heart-felt pride for our troops without personally relating to a soldier.

The war has hit closer to home than you might believe. A local marine, David Christoff, from Rossford, Ohio is being buried today in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

If your Memorial Day activities did not involve respect for those the holiday was meant to commemorate, now would be a good time to keep Christoff and others like him in your thoughts.