Last Memorial Day, I was awed by the respect shown by more than 2,500 Dutch men, women, and children. They endured a driving rain for more than two hours to honor the servicemen buried at the American Military Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten, the Netherlands. When asked why they would do that, the reply was the same each time. "They gave their lives so we could be free."

The Dutch instill a sense of obligation to honor these dead into each new generation. Perhaps they value freedom more because they once lost it. They certainly know that freedom is not free.

We Americans also must not forget the true meaning of Memorial Day. We must embrace and cherish our freedom and those who have fought and died for it. We must honor our fallen heroes, especially now as our service men and women fight two wars overseas. So, as you barbecue, or shop for bargains, remember those who, by making the ultimate sacrifice, helped make that possible.

Fly your flag. Remember them. Lest we forget.

Richard Stinger