Memorial Day is more than a holiday


The weather didn't always cooperate, but Moffat County residents seemed to make the most of the opportunity to be outdoors and celebrate Grand Olde West Days.
Organizers reported a marked increase in visitors for the Memorial Day weekend event -- a major triumph considering the cool weather.
Some veterans, however, weren't thrilled with the event scheduling. One of the antique tractor pull events conflicted with the Memorial Day Service at the Craig Cemetery.
Retired Army Lt. Col. Charley Watkins said several veterans came up to him after the ceremony to complain.
Watkins, in turn, took their grievances to the festival committee. After the discussion, Watkins said he didn't think it was an intentional slight, just bad planning.
But it was another example of how the true meaning of Memorial Day has given way to America's leisure mentality.
After the federal government moved Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday in May, "it kind of watered down the meaning," Watkins said.
"It's nothing more than a holiday now," he said. "It's not a day to remember the veterans who gave their lives for the freedom of this country."
We hope the Grand Olde West Days committee takes the complaints to heart and adjusts the festival schedule to accommodate the veterans' wishes next year.
It was a fun festival, and it appears to be growing in popularity.
Let's just not forget the reason we're given that Monday off.

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