The last Monday in May. It's a convenient three-day weekend to kick off summer. A weekend to get together with friends and family...throw some burgers and steaks on the grill...relax by the pool...maybe get away for a little vacation. To many, that's what Memorial Day is all about.

But what is Memorial Day? A poll commissioned by the World War II Museum in New Orleans reveals the nation is in danger of forgetting. Eighty percent of all Americans confess to having “little” or “some” knowledge of the holiday. Just 20 percent claim to be “very familiar” with the day’s purpose, which is to honor those who have died while fighting the nation’s wars.

Today we remember those who have died to protect our country.

My Dad, my sons and many other relatives have served in the Armed Forces. They were and are all willing to die to keep us free.

My Dad is gone now. He was a hero in the Pacific during WW II, having earned the Bronze Star medal for saving wounded fellow Marines during the Battle at Okinawa. It's to late to tell him "thanks"...and I know that I don't thank the others nearly enough for what they have done. Memorial Day is a day that always reminds me of that.

So, for at least a few minutes this weekend, take some time to remember the family, friends, and even strangers that have paid the ultimate price to provide us with the freedoms and the life we have.