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Memorial Day meaning and purpose remains important


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- Memorial Day has come to mean the unofficial start of summer, and a three-day weekend, but the original purpose behind Memorial Day is still the most important purpose. Portage County Veterans Service Officer Mike Clements says its important to remember the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  “It’s not just another day off. It’s not just another day to cook hotdogs and hamburgers on the grill, but the real purpose is to remember our war dead, and honor our war dead. So, I would like people to keep that in mind, visit a cemetery, look at the veterans graves, and honor our war dead.”

There have been many armed conflicts around the world involving American soldiers. Clements says we should remember the war dead, and acknowledge the surviving veterans and thank them for their service.  “The World War II, greatest generation, those vets are passing at a very quick rate, and the Korean war veteran and the Vietnam war veteran are the older veterans now for the most part, and we have a new generation of veterans who have fought the war on terror starting in 2001, and we’ve lost a lot of service personnel to that war as well, and they should be honored for their sacrifice.”

There are many different Memorial Day activities planned throughout central Wisconsin.  Clements lists several of them in our online interview, here.