On a day of barbecues and baseball, “let's not forget the point of Memorial Day,” write William J. Bennett and John Cribb: to salute the sacrifices of the 1.3 million troops who have died for our country. “Through their sacrifice, the United States has liberated more people from tyranny than any other nation,” they note in the Chicago Tribune. And while some hold a firm place in history, others don’t get the recognition they deserve.
Take Edward “Butch” O’Hare: millions walk through the airport that bears his name without knowing that he saved the USS Lexington from an onslaught of Japanese planes. Or William Carney, who, during the Civil War, held the US flag high despite being shot three times. “Boys, the old flag never touched the ground,” he told his comrades. “Remembering those who served is more than a gesture,” Bennett and Cribb write. “It is our duty.”