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Parade celebrates sacrifices of freedom

Tomorrow our nation pauses to honor the memory of the men and women who have served our great nation with courage, faith and honor.

Memorial Day is always a special holiday, but especially so during times of conflict such as the ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Around the globe young men and women are risking their lives to protect American interests and promote freedom.

Throughout the years, countless young men and women from our region have stepped forward and answered the call to serve.

And, for 137 years, Lawrence County has come together in Ironton to help recognize the bravery of those soldiers by hosting the nation’s longest continuous Memorial Day parade.

In downtown Ironton on Monday, thousands will gather to participate in the tradition.

Some folks will say the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade should be a solemn, somber event in which we stoically honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

And, those folks would be partially correct. Yes, Memorial Day is about remembering, but it should also be about the present moment, too.

Memorial Day in Ironton should be fun for all ages. Obviously, the parade needs guidelines and rules to prevent the day from becoming a Mardi Gras on the Ohio.

However, of the men and women who gave their lives, we suspect most of them would want us to celebrate our freedoms by celebrating life in a fun, wholesome manner.

The beauty of living in a free country is the ability to come together as a community and celebrate however we’d like.

Perhaps the greatest lesson of freedom is in recognizing how precious it is and how much we should savor it each and every day.

We can think of no better way to celebrate our freedoms than to get up Monday morning, gather together as a community and enjoy a great parade honoring those who have for each of us.