Editorial: A day to remember | AspenTimes.com

Editorial: A day to remember

Many of us won’t be working today because it’s a national holiday, Memorial Day.

Instead, we’ll be enjoying ourselves by cooking out, going to parties, having a few beverages and just relaxing.

But like many national holidays — whether it’s Christmas or the Fourth of July — we often lose sight of what they’re really about.

Today we remember members of the United States Armed Forces who died while on duty. Pitkin County has had its share of service men and women who died in military service, or as a result of the aftermath of war.

Today even has an added meaning, unfortunately, in the wake of allegations that the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Hospital delayed treatment to patients and altered records. Some of those patients died because they were forced to wait too long to get the treatment they needed. The scandal in Phoenix is the latest black eye on the VA hospital system, where claims of mismanagement date back to 2012.

It’s sad, unfortunate and unacceptable that America’s veterans haven’t received the proper treatment in the wake of their sacrifices for our country. More despicable is that authorities at the VA facilities allowed this to fester.

What can we do?

While this shouldn’t be a day of doom and gloom, it shouldn’t be one in which we simply ignore what it’s about. Current and past members of the Armed Forces deserve better treatment and acknowledgment for the sacrifices they made. And it all starts at home.

A good starter is to attend today’s Memorial Day observance, set for noon at the Roaring Fork Veterans Memorial, located at 506. E. Main St. between the county courthouse and the main county building. Thanking a veteran for his or her service is a small gesture that goes a long way. It’s the least we can do.

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