Memorial Day is Monday, May 31, a day when Americans honor the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in duty to their country.

Across the nation flags will be solemnly placed at the gravesites of those who died while in uniform. It doesn't matter if they died in battle on land, sea or air, or if they perished in a tragic accident—all those souls have earned the respect of their fellow citizens who live under the freedoms they swore to protect.

How can we civilians mark Memorial Day 2021? For those who have family members interred at a national or other cemetery, visiting the gravesite with flowers, to pause and reflect is a personal way to honor the fallen soldier. Those whose families are untouched by military death can honor America's fallen military members with a few minutes of remembrance.

Some see Memorial Day as a three-day weekend. At gatherings, people joining together for recreation can be part of the national day of memoriam by imparting the history of the sacrifice of our armed forces to the children in attendance. 

On the local level, Keizerites can pay their respects by visiting Pvt. Ryan J. Hill Park at Keizer Station, named in honor of our city's only casualty of the war in Iraq.

 The men and women who are called to serve their country and give their lives are to be honored and respected. When an American dons a uniform, our hope is they will return home safely. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. Hundreds of thousnds of Americans have fallen while serving. We will never forget them.      —LAZ