To many Americans, Memorial Day typically means an extra day off to an already shortened week-end coupled with plans for a barbeque or a trip to the beach. Oh there may be a short moment when our thoughts turn to the reason why we have today off from work but those thoughts are usually short lived and come about the time that you are busy hanging your flag from the house before setting out for a day of fun in the sun. With American troops stationed all over the globe and casualties mounting in Iraq, I think it is an important reminder of the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf.

The freedoms we enjoy every day are far from free. It takes a lot of hard work and many lives to protect what many of us take for granted. Men and women put their very existence on the line for us every day so that we have the opportunity to live in a society where it is acceptable to speak our mind or state dissenting opinions.

Those who have served our country come in many shapes and sizes and from very diverse backgrounds. From the small town farm boy in Idaho to the Major League Baseball player, soldiers have been called and have served to the best of their ability. There is a long list of immortal baseball players who were also great Americans who diligently served their country. Hall of Fame players such as Ted Williams stepped away from the prime of their careers to face the uncertainties of war. Their successful military careers meant as much or more to them than their baseball accomplishments. These are the people who should be remembered today. We all know the names of our favorite players and can recite their statistics like they are our own but how many of us know the names of those who are serving this country to keep us free and safe? So I challenge everyone to take a moment to find the name of someone who has served this country and reach out to them and thank them for their dedication and hard work. A moment of remembering their accomplishments is the least that we can do for these heroes.