The true meaning of Memorial Day is overshadowed and forgotten

Memorial Day, a day dedicated to the men and women who served and died for their country in the United States Armed Forces, has been obscured by the lure of no school and Memorial Day sales. It is important to pay tribute and remember the people who have lost their lives answering the call of duty.

Perhaps now, more than ever, we as a country need to reflect on the cost of war and the price of lives. According to the Washington Post, which receives weekly updates from military releases, 6,440 American soldiers died in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the Vietnam War, approximately 58,148 soldiers died, according to History.com. Let us not forget the lives lost in wars past, such as our surviving World War II veterans. The casualties of all the wars fought by Americans total 1,343,812 soldier deaths. This number does not include the lives lost in training incidents and for those suffering from post-traumatic stress, which is often fatal.

Memorial Day is a day to remember these people who have died to protect this country. It is important to reflect on history, and honor those who served so valiantly in order for us to live peacefully. We often waste the day away with no thought of the true significance of the holiday. There’s no harm in enjoying the long weekend, but with 365 days in a year, it is key that we dedicate this one day to those lost. These veterans deserve to be remembered and we, as a country, need to commit to memory the real cost of war.