The meaning of Memorial Day is often obscured by commercialism. Ask the students at Clover Park High what it is and you may get a surprising reply. On Thursday they installed more than 6,000 handmade stakes, each bearing the name of a service person killed in the War on Terrorism.
It looks impressive, but what is more impressive is the message – that we remember. There is no political connection or glorification intended; to do so would tarnish the memory.
Let’s put the display into perspective: Multiply what you see by 10 to approximate the losses of Vietnam and by 90 for the staggering fatalities of World War II.
“Freedom isn’t free,” so the saying goes. However you feel about these words, one irrevocable fact remains: They died.
Sometimes this generation is referred to as selfish and uncaring; that is not necessarily true or fair. Today’s youth can do the right thing. They can be respectful, and they can show wisdom at times beyond their years.
Every generation has its challenges. Our youth face tremendously complex issues: global warming, economic uncertainty and terrorism, to name a few. But take heart: The technicians, scientists, teachers and leaders are among us who will meet and defeat those challenges.
I know. I see and speak with them every day. Still skeptical? Go see the lawn of Clover Park High.