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OUR VIEW: Remember reason for Memorial Day

Memorial Day is when we honor and remember the many individuals who have selflessly sacrificed their lives in service to the United States. Memorial Day weekend, which begins today, has long been the unofficial start of summer in the United States. It is typically a time of joy, relaxation and celebration.

Memorial Day is a solemn one. According to the defense casualty analysis system, 1,241,220 Americans lost their lives in war or military operations since World War I.

We should never let the memory of these individuals be forgotten.

Memorial Day weekend, however, long has been about barbecues and ballparks. Beaches and backyards. Pools and picnics. Family, friends and fun.

Last year, we were unable to gather at our homes with dozens of people, there were no trips to a local pool or going to Truist Park to watch a Braves game.

This year, however, things look very different. State parks are now open, Truist Park is now open at full capacity and the Braves are starting to heat up and will host the Washington Nationals on Monday.

Whatever you and your family plans to do this Memorial Day weekend, don’t forget to take a moment on Monday and remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can participate in these types of activities.

If you plan on staying home, a service will be hosted at Calvin Hipp Park in Hogansville on Monday beginning at 11 a.m. Flags will also be distributed at Shadowlawn Cemetery in LaGrange.

No matter what you find yourself doing this weekend, do it safely!