A boy scout offers a salute at the foot of a grave after volunteers placed flags at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Saturday, May 28, 2016 in preparation for Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Memorial Day Weekend is a sign that summer is here. So as we trade out our camouflage for rod and tackle, let’s take a moment to reflect what this weekend truly means. Memorial Day is a solemn American holiday honoring the men and women who died in service in the U.S. military. The holiday originated in the years following the Civil War and was originally called “Decoration Day.” It became an official federal holiday in 1971.

Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. But many of us take to the water or to the fields this for this nice three-day weekend. While we are enjoying some time off, we must keep in our hearts and minds the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep this country great. Those who have lost their lives on the battlefield defending the Red, White, and Blue are true heroes to our great nation. These heroes have their names etched in the history of America and those names will last through the ages. Although they may be gone, they are never forgotten.

We simultaneously pay tribute to our nation’s heroes while also pursuing happiness (however each of us define it),that is the American way. We have the luxury of true freedom in this country, a luxury much of the world does not have the advantage of experiencing. And we would not have the opportunity to live such a rewarding and fulfilling life of freedom if it weren’t for the many brave men and women who laid down their lives for us.

I’ll end with a quote by FDR, “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.”

Worth Osgood