They can come flat in granite, marble or bronze. Or upright in granite or marble.

It’s a preference no family wants to make.

A decision that has to be made by many and

sought by none.

The Department of Veterans Affairs will provide a

government headstone, at no charge, to mark the grave of those who dies in service to their county.

Scattered throughout the country are government- furnished headstones or markers representing the lives lost in service to the United States Military.

Lives lost so we can petition the government and exercise the right to vote.

Lives lost so we can argue about Facebook’s policies and the need for vaccines.

Lives lost so we can eat hot dogs, drink beer and “start summer.”

God forbid we ever forget the true reason everyone has the last Monday in May off.

Memorial Day.

A day to remember.

But remembering isn’t enough.

Because Memorial Day has transformed from

being thankful and indebted to those who come home under Old Glory into deserving a day off because it’s been a rough week.

Memorial Day.

A day to commemorate.

If you are not touched by the pain that comes with

this sacrifice, it’s easy to only remember when it’s convenient. When you’re told to.

When all it takes to remember is share a post on Facebook.

This year, let’s take it a step forward.

There are over 1,200 men and women who served in the military buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery alone.

That means there are at least 1,200 families who’ve lost their child, husband, wife, father, mother, uncle, aunt, brother or sister within this community.

Let’s take this day of remembering a step forward. Let’s reach out to those in need who may be struggling with the sacrifice their love one made.

Although it will never replace the pain of losing a child, or the loneliness a widow will face, or the absence a child has to live with, taking action can show our gratitude.

We can remember them by making sure we don’t forget them and the families they left behind.

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