Recall sacrifice, honor memory

The reasons to observe Memorial Day grow each year, as more lives are lost in service to a country that now seems on a fluid but constant war footing.

Combat deaths have edged up again in Iraq this year, as the U.S. pushes back against Islamic State militants. Peace seems more elusive than ever in our dangerous world.

The occasion of Memorial Day is personal for many, tugging at memories and renewing sorrow.

But it’s also communal, calling on us to look up from our lives and commemorate those who sacrificed theirs to fight tyranny and preserve liberty.

The opportunities to come together Monday in somber gratitude include an 8 a.m. flag raising and presentation at Wichita Veterans Memorial Park, 339 N. Veterans Parkway, as well as events at 10 a.m. at Lakeview Cemetery and Funeral Home, 12100 E. 13th St.; and at 11 a.m. at Resthaven Mortuary and Cemetery, 11800 W. Kellogg, and Greenwood Cemetery, 6231 W. 47th St. South.

Remembering the fallen is more privilege than obligation, with the Veterans Memorial Park providing Wichitans the perfect place for year-round reflection and thanks giving.

As former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole once said: “Let us be determined to put aside in our minds and hearts a moment each month, each week, each day, to recall their sacrifice, to offer thanks for their legacy to us and to honor their memory.”