The Reason for Memorial Day

May 29, 2006--Posted at 5:15 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR-- They are the Americans who have made our country the great nation it is today.

"If it weren't for some of the things that happened, we could very easily be speaking German or Japanese," said Navy veteran Cecil Stephenson.

No matter what your descent is or how long you have lived in the United States, you probably are related or know someone who has served our country.

"It is very important that we remember our ancestors that fought before us, that gave us the freedom to do what we want to," said Commander of the Son of Confederate Veterans Danny Honnoll.

"My father was a World War One veteran, had 3 brothers in World War 2, another brother in Korea, and I served in Vietnam, so this is an important day for us," said Ron Miller, Board Member of the Veterans Memorial Foundation.

Memorial Day is set aside every year to enjoy our freedoms, and celebrate those present and past who have made it possible.

"Since 1775, we have had wars and conflicts. We have always had Americans willing to stand up and fight for our freedom, much like we have today," said Miller.

The ceremony, in Craighead County, took on a greater meaning as members of the National Guard in Northeast Arkansas prepare to serve our country overseas.

"We just had a large unit out of Jonesboro get orders for deployment, so it is special this year because we are remembering the people who are going over from the 875th," said Miller.

A number of Region 8 veterans were on hand for the ceremony. Their wish is that future generations continue to remember the real reason for Memorial Day.

"I wish there were more young people here today, so they could know what a memorial means and what it stands for," said Stephenson.

Although we only celebrate those who protect our freedom a couple times a year, they should always be near our hearts.