Monday is Memorial Day, a national holiday and all local, state and federal offices will be closed. Banks will also be closed and there will be no mail delivery.
A lot of local residents will be visiting local cemeteries, decorating the graves of loved ones who have passed away. Retired Air Force Colonel Gary Griffin, who is commander of the American Legion’s #12 post at Utah State University, says many people forget the real purpose of the holiday.
He says Memorial Day began at the time of the Civil War as a day to remember and honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the nation’s wars.
“They’re getting very old,” Griffin says of those veterans who served in World War II. “There’s not very many of them left. I think this time of year, at Memorial Day, I think of them and what they did for us. It’s quite overwhelming.
“When you read the history of the second World War, and even Vietnam and all the conflicts we’ve had to the present day, the sacrifices that these young soldiers made are just overwhelming to me.”
Griffin says it also important to remember those soldiers who fought and died in more recent conflicts, like the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He fears things are getting bad again in Iraq and more soldiers may be needed to restore order.
<span>”Now it’s in a mess. I was just listening to the news coming in,” Griffin continues. “ISIS has taken over key cities in Iraq, it’s taken over half of Syria. It’s just a mess over there.</span>
<span>”I think we left too soon. We left the door open for this kind of thing to happen. I think it’s a travesty after all the treasure and blood we spent freeing Iraq and Afghanistan to just turn our backs and leave it to the mess it is now.”</span>
<div class=”yj6qo ajU”><div id=”:ov” class=”ajR”>Griffin says some people believe we never should have gone to Iraq but based on intelligence at the time he feels President Bush made the right decision.<br />
Col. Griffin encourages local residents to remember all those who have served their country this Memorial Day.