On May 26, Americans across this nation and citizens located around the world will pause to observe Memorial Day. Since its first official observation in May of 1868, when it was called Decoration Day, it has been a day of remembrance for those who sacrificed and died in our nation’s service.
While it was originally dedicated to honor Civil War soldiers, we know it today as a celebration in memory and honor of all who have fought for and defended our right to freedom.
It is in the spirit of gratitude that I encourage everyone to support Danville Rotary Club’s Memorial Way. For a $5 donation, you can sponsor an American flag in the name of your loved one. Rotary Club members will place the flags along both sides of North Vermilion Street in Danville, where they will remain throughout the Memorial Day weekend.
The proceeds of this project will be used to support the Vermilion County War Museum, V.A. medical center’s special funds for veterans (i.e.: social work emergency, hospitality housing, patient library and recreation therapy), the new Sparky Songer Danville Rotary Scholarship and the “Service Above Self” scholarship, as well as other community initiatives. Flag sponsorship forms are available from any Rotarian or online at http://www.rotaryflag.com. The deadline for sponsorship is May 16.
Our flag is truly a symbol of the freedoms that we fight so diligently to protect. From Francis Scott Key’s vision of bombs bursting through the morning air to the courageous memory of Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima, the American flag is a symbol of freedom that we celebrate and hold sacred. Let it also remind each of us of the sacrifice made by men and women throughout our nation so that this flag could stand tall. Let us not forget that we will forever see it wave as a nation of free people because of the lives that we honor each Memorial Day.
Cathy Reardon is executive director of the Danville Library Foundation.