My last stop before heading home this morning was a visit to Memorial Park, where I sometimes walk as it is located near my home. I’ve included a picture of the memorial area with this post. I always try to make a trip over on Memorial Day to reflect on those who lost their lives and on Veterans Day to honor those who have served or continue to serve their country, often in harm’s way. Our Memorial Day parade is generally held the weekend before the holiday and at the conclusion of the parade “Taps” is played and wreaths are laid at the huge granite memorial where bronze plaques list the war dead from World Wars I and II as well as the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. I did not see any wreaths this year at the memorial and I hope it is not just because our City (which is in dire financial straits and on the brink of being run by an emergency manager) could not afford this usual tribute. The huge granite memorial honoring the City’s fallen servicemen looked very bare without its usual red, white and blue floral tributes. This year there were about 30 brand-new American flags planted around Memorial Park near the pavilion, historic cannon and near the Fallen Heroes memorial dedicated to Sergeant Craig S. Frank, a member of the Army National Guard who died on July 17, 2004 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. While this group of flags interspersed amongst the war mementoes was stunning, it was not as stirring as “The Healing Fields” flag display which has graced Memorial Park the past few years, wherein many flags were lined up in perfect rows around the memorial area and out to Fort Street. It was quite awe-inspiring, with the flags representing every soldier from Lincoln Park who lost their life in a war. Each flag had a hang tag with information about the name, rank, date and place of death of the fallen soldier. Though I don’t know anyone personally who died in these conflicts, I feel compelled to take a moment to honor their memory and their ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy freedom. Thank you.