Remember whose day it is

Written by Baker City Herald Editorial Board May 23, 2014 11:44 am

You can sense it when you stroll among the graves in the veterans section at Mount Hope Cemetery, and watch the rows of American flags flutter in the May breeze.

But perhaps the most poignant reminder of what Memorial Day means comes when you stand in front of the monument on the east lawn of the Baker County Courthouse, on Third Street between Court and Washington avenues, and you read the names rendered there in metal.

These are the men and women from Baker County who died while serving in uniform during a war.

And although the letters that make up their names are small, their contributions are so great as to defy measurement.

Each name represents not just one life lost, but a long roster of family and friends whose own lives were forever changed by a death on a foreign battlefield.

We do what we can to remember and to honor them, with monuments and avenues of flags and speeches, though we know these are, and can ever only be, tokens.

But still these gestures matter, however minor they might seem compared with the magnitude of the sacrifices they are intended to recognize.

This day, which is their day and theirs alone, matters.