Memorial Day 2014, the day when America pauses at the beginning of summer to honor American heroes who have fought to preserve the freedoms each American enjoys everyday. There are others who are heroes for their actions as private citizens. Brennan Leininger is an Anaheim police officer who during his off time has stepped up to do something about the way America’s fallen are honored on Memorial Day at Riverside National Cemetery in southern California.
Three years ago Mr. Leininger and his wife attended Memorial Day ceremonies at the cemetery in Riverside and saw what he thought was a shortcoming that needed to be fixed. He began by raising $10,000 in the first year and was able to purchase 21,000 flags to place on grave sites. This year volunteers have helped to place 140,000 flags throughout the cemetery.
Mr. Leininger’s original mission is now called A Flag For Every Hero and has become part of an organization that focuses on helping the families of deceased veterans, Honoring Our Fallen. The Orange County Register ran an article about these efforts but unfortunately it is not among the most read stories in the paper. For a majority of American’s, sadly I think, Memorial Day is nothing more than a time for picnics and barbecues to kick off the summer season.
The Los Angeles Times ran an Opinion piece by Scott Martelle, a Times editorial writer. His piece champions the idea of the need for a day to celebrate peace instead of war. As one would expect from a Times editorial writer he wonders if there were more memorials to peace and non-violence, we might be less willing to send soldiers into war. Mr. Martelle makes a case for his ideas and I always am open to different opinions, so give his piece a read then Think. And Think Again. But whatever you do, take time on Memorial Day to remember those who died so we can enjoy our freedom.