This weekend may signify the start of summer and be a three-day weekend but we cannot lose sight of the fact that it is MEMORIAL DAY. It is a day to honor and remember those who gave their lives for our country. I must admit until a September Sunday morning 21 years ago Memorial Day did not mean that much to me. On that day my wife and children went to visit the Vietnam Memorial. I knew it would be emotional but I was totally unprepared for the impact it had on me. Vietnam was my generation’s war. I never thought it was a just war or a war we should have been fighting. I had never served in the military but I had friends who were in Vietnam. Just walking up to that black stonewall and realizing the enormity of the sacrifice was overwhelming. Then I remembered that a high school classmate had been killed in Vietnam so I decided to look for his name. Even though we had a small class he was not more than an acquaintance certainly not a close friend. I found his name and I was unprepared for what I found. He was killed on Christmas Eve 1967. All I could do was cry; the tears were of sympathy and also a certain rage for a life taken. I couldn’t help but think of what I was doing that Christmas Eve. I was exchanging presents and I was midway through my senior year in college preparing to get on with a career. He gave his life in a foreign land fighting for us. Ever since that day 21 years ago Memorial Day has had a new meaning for me. War is brutal and senseless, some wars are justified and some are not, but that does not diminish the sacrifice of those who have given their lives so that we can have the freedom and the opportunities that we have. Take a minute today in the midst of your picnic or day at the beach to thank those who sacrificed their lives for us to make the world a better place.