Honoring service and sacrifice this Memorial Day

— More than picnics, parades and a day off from work, Memorial Day is a solemn reminder of the sacrifices that have been made, and the price that has been paid, by the servicemen and women who have fought to protect our way of life and keep us safe from harm. The freedoms and values that our country stands for are due to their heroic efforts.

Memorial Day has traditionally honored the men and women who, in the words of President Lincoln, gave “the last full measure of devotion.” To put your life on the line for your country is the highest measure of courage, selflessness and patriotism. We owe these brave service members who made the ultimate sacrifice an immeasurable debt of gratitude.

While we remember those who have lost their lives in service to our nation, we also honor the members of the military who are currently serving, and the families who sacrifice every day while their loved ones are away. These service members are our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. They are our friends and members of our community. As of last month, 33,500 U.S. troops remain stationed in Afghanistan, fighting in a conflict that has claimed over 2,000 American lives. We are grateful for their sacrifices, and the sacrifices of their families, as well.

On Memorial Day, and every day of the year, we should commit ourselves to making every effort to show our appreciation for those who defend our country. This Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, there are several events throughout our community that you can take part in:

The Fayetteville Memorial Day Parade will begin at 9 a.m. at the intersection of Highbridge Street and Route 5;

The Manlius Memorial Day Parade will begin at 11 a.m. with a ceremony to follow at the Village of Manlius Centre;

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