Often lost in the picnics, parties and three-day-weekend plans is the reason behind Memorial Day. But agriculture remembers. Let’s continue to lead by example this Memorial Day.
Certainly, rural America enjoys the family gatherings, food and fun that accompany Memorial Day. Most often, however, these events and activities are preceded by formal remembrance services in the tiny rural cemeteries that dot farm country or in the small-town school gymnasiums that serve as community gathering points.
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As U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack pointed out in his 2011 Memorial Day message, although rural Americans represent only 16 percent of the population of America, they make up 44 percent of our men and women in uniform. As so often occurs, agriculture is long on service and sacrifice, yet not always recognized for the role it plays in feeding and securing the world. That’s why for us, pausing to remember takes on a deeper meaning.
As we gather for our community Memorial Day services and for our reunions, barbecues and family outings, continue to lead by example. Remember the true meaning of this holiday, and be safe.