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Valparaiso Memorial Day Observance

Veterans read the names of local veterans who have died in wars Friday morning at the veterans memorial in Foundation Meadows Park for Valparaiso's annual Memorial Day Observance. From left are Jim Spanopoulos, Doug Pierce and Rick Staresina.

Few events each year have the ability to pull together as many people in our communities as Memorial Day.

Don't pass up the opportunity this weekend to connect with neighbors and fellow residents in remembrance of the very people who make these gatherings possible.

Most importantly, continue keeping alive the memories of veterans who sacrificed everything for our country.

Their deaths mean nothing if we don't learn from the history forged in patriotic bloodshed.

An extensive list ran on A3 of Saturday's paper, pointing readers to a plethora of community Memorial Day events this weekend.

Just showing up demonstrates respect for the ultimate sacrifices of Region men and women of service.

But it's what we take and do with the lessons of their deaths that truly makes a difference.

Are we supporting our communities by remaining active in important civic issues, voting and holding our public officials accountable?

Are we supporting our local schools so the promise burns bright for the next generation of our nation's citizens and leaders?

Are we doing all we can to maintain the safety of our children, particularly in school, so they can learn and live to carry our nation forward?

At the core of the generations of Americans who have died for this country is a bedrock notion that our founding ideals are worth safeguarding, sometimes at the cost of human life.

We can best honor the memories of the fallen by protecting those ideals through active participation in civic duties on the homefront.

So many have died to preserve our nation's values and way of life. Let's resolve in life to be active participants in the very things they died for.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Local News Editor Marc Chase, Lake County Editor Crista Zivanovic, Porter/LaPorte County Editor Doug Ross and Deputy Local Editor Erin Orr.