Changing approach to Memorial Day - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Changing approach to Memorial Day

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

     Samuel and Mary Wright are helping change American's approach to celebrating Memorial Day.  "We are eating fruits that they bore for us, so we just want to give thanks," said Sam Wright. 

     Neither he nor his wife are veterans or have veterans in their family.  But, the family of five took a front row seat at Tuscaloosa's Commemoration. "To give thanks to those who fought for freedom and liberty."

     To them, its more than just a day off work, barbecue or time at the lake. 

      Army Lieutenant General, John Caldwell told the crowd it can relate more to the holiday by keeping tabs on how local service men and women contribute to wars abroad.  For example in West Alabama --"105 I believe is the accurate account that have died in Afghanistan or Iraq."  General Caldwell believes many Americans do lose touch with the day.  "The men and women who have fallen would want this to be a special day they died for our way of life." 

       And taking time out to reflect - for man - especially veterans, is important.  "Conflicts are winding down in Iraq and Afghanistan -- this is just kind of a way to reinvigorate the public that the fallen have always been there." 

       That is exactly what the Wrights realized.  Perhaps War seems so far off -- They're in countries that are so far away. They're not close to home. Its people like me that don't have close family members that have been touched so its not as close to the heart.