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What is the meaning of Memorial Day? That is a question I asked a group of children visiting our nation’s capital several years ago. When they replied, “It’s the day the pool opens,” I was shocked. Their innocent remark led to the creation of the National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day.

To unite our country in remembrance of our fallen, we ask all Americans to pause on Memorial Day at 3 p.m. wherever they may be, place a hand over their heart, and promise to live a good life in honor of those who gave their lives for us.

Memorial Day, first known as Decoration Day, was first observed by a grateful nation 143 years ago, in 1868 after the Civil War. Today, however, too many Americans forget to remember the nearly 2 million brave souls who died in military service since the founding of our nation.

No Greater Love, which honors our fallen servicemembers and their families, initiated the National Moment of Remembrance, which was officially established by Congress. The “Moment” is an act of conscience and heart, respect and appreciation.

This shared Moment of Remembrance can help unify in some small way our fragmented society. It expresses a unity of spirit, affirming that as Americans we are not separate from each other or from those who died. We share one national identity and one history. These men and women died for all of us.

The ultimate sacrifice of our fallen men and women gives life and value to each constitutional right we enjoy. As John F. Kennedy said, “A nation reveals itself not only by the citizens it produces, but also by the citizens it honors and the citizens it remembers.”

Carmella LaSpada

Founder and director

No Greater Love

Washington

Don’t dismiss all believers

I read with interest the May 27 letter “Rash acts easily predicted.” I was amused by such misguided bravado.

There are many of us who are gullible, susceptible to the talk of others. For example, my wife doesn’t much appreciate my watching the shopping channel if she is not present — if left to myself I end up with “goods.” Likewise there are many men and women who, after being married a period of time, begin to feel as if they bought the nicely wrapped package but were misinformed on the contents. Some feel they got duped by the used-car salesman.

Hence, before the letter writer points the finger at those he deems misguided, he should take a look at his own life decisions.

Likewise, there are more than 3,500 Christian churches in the United States, so no one should be so quick to lump us all in the same belief structure. Many of us feel that no man or woman knows the time of the Second Coming.

As for my atheist friend who wrote this gloating letter, I will pray that someday God allows you to be in a place where there is no apparent help available — other than his. The old phrase “there are no atheists in foxholes” leads me to believe you have haven’t been there yet.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Alan Brock

Victory Base Complex, Iraq

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