Fred Dorn Jr. spent part of his Wednesday at Allouez Catholic Cemetery. He and other volunteers placed flags at the graves of veterans in preparation for Memorial Day Monday.
Dorn, who is commander of the Sullivan-Wallen American Legion Post 11 in Green Bay, thinks it's important to remember the sacrifices made by those in uniform who died for their country.
That is what Memorial Day is for.
Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a national holiday on the last Monday in May when which Americans honor the military men and women who died while serving their country.
But just as the military has been often taken for granted, so has the holiday. Some do more celebrating than remembering as the three-day weekend has also become synonymous with the start of the summer season. In the northern part of the country with its long winters, it's the first long weekend when we could expect halfway decent weather.
It's a chance for many families to catch their breath during the crush of end-of-the-school-year concerts and graduations.
But none of that would be possible without the sacrifices of many, including those in the military who kept this country safe and free during times of war.
From those who were drafted to those who enlisted of their own volition, they basically said: I will sacrifice my life to keep you and our country free. In Wisconsin, tens of thousands have done that, from the 89 killed in Iraq and 34 in Afghanistan to the 12,216 who died in the Civil War.
As veteran and orator Robert Green Ingersoll said about those who died in the Civil War: "These heroes are dead. They died for liberty-they died for us. They are at rest. They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless."
So as Fred Dorn Jr. heads to the Allouez cemetery tomorrow, he's hoping that others will take the time to honor the members of the armed forces who died in service to their country.
"They went to service and volunteered their lives," he said.
Those sacrifices should not be forgotten.