Memorial Day is such a somber remembrance of those who died in service to this country. It is also a time to decorate the graves of loved ones. It seems one of the last vestiges of patriotism people still honor.

Even those who may have been opposed to war as a means to peace in the world must feel some gratitude for all women and men who put their lives in danger to secure personal freedom of Americans back home and many people worldwide; who were oppressed by communism or cartels; and especially for all those who fill millions of graves who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

At a time when values seem to be shifting and realigning, it is essential that Americans not lose sight of patriotism, believing in a country where freedom is, and should always be, for everyone.

And it's a time to honor all those who have believed it was the right choice for them to serve in the military. It's a time to honor those who fight to preserve constitutional rights, including the ability to choose what political party, which church or no religion, and essentially any belief system – free to be anyone, anywhere and anytime.

But people are not so free to say anything, to anyone, anymore. It’s a tricky line now between freedom of speech and another person's or group’s right to not be disrespected.

While many spent the three-day weekend relaxing at the lake or river, traveling to see family and grilling, others decorated graves, posted the American flag and honored veterans. And in Stilwell Rusty Dawson, minister at Stilwell Church of Christ, joined buglers across the nation to play Taps —Dawson on the Kiwanis Bandstand. There remains hope people took time to honor ancestors and veterans at the time set aside by Memorial Day – and the red, white and blue, forever may she wave.