Mike on America

Memorial Day

"Memorial Day..."

It was 36 years ago that I covered my first Memorial Day for television: the placing of the individual American flags on the graves of veterans in a National Cemetery in Colorado.

"...a day set aside..."

There was a young woman and younger child standing amongst the forest of white headstones... no tears... no poetry... just standing...

"...to remember those..."

Born out of the Second World War, called up for the war of my generation, a protester against any more wars, watching her and her son standing there stayed with me for every Memorial Day thereafter. I have walked the narrow paths between fallen veterans of nearly every war in our history. From the cliffs of Normandy to the hallowed ground of the American South.

"...who died..."

In the literal millions of miles I've traveled across this country, in the passing years, in the loneliness of the playing of "Taps," there is a constant.

"...in service to their country."

Memorial Day, with all its sunshine, ball games, barbeques and family, is the day to remember that young woman and younger child -- no tears, no poetry --just standing.

Questions? Comments? mikeonamerica@nbcuni.com