Letter to the editor: Memorial Day not for politicians

Decoration Day, the name was changed to Memorial Day in 1882. It was originally a day where families, veterans, communities decorated the graves of all military members who perished in their respective wars.
As the years went by more decorations were put up, families gathered to watch parades filled with proud military units, decorated bikes and bands playing music. Cemeteries in the town were decorated with American flags placed on the graves of past military members, some even had flowers left by families or school children who chose to honor the fallen. As more and more years passed the Indianapolis 500 race was run on this day. The parades got bigger each year with more float entries around themes honoring the fallen, bands, baseball teams, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and others waving flags, marching and smiling.
In my opinion some who have joined in on marching in the parades detract from the real meaning of the day, that of honoring those brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I don’t want a sticker with someone’s name on it, shake a hand or get brochures, in fact I will be honest — when any politician strolls down the parade route I turn my back, not because I don’t agree with their ideas, but to close my eyes and say a prayer for those departed souls.
My wish would be for all politicians to honor those who have died for our freedoms by not showing up to march in a parade. Let’s spend the day remembering the fallen, putting flags and flowers on cemeteries, being with family and friends and forget about the politics.
Barbara Mercier

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