Memorial Day is the day we honor all of those Americans, who paid the price for our freedom.  Show your support to those who died by honoring their memory.  Check out this list of patriotic ceremonies taking place this weekend in Ada and Canyon Counties.     Before we get to the list, a moment to reflect on our great nation.  It may be common today to complain about what America is not.  However, all we need to do is go to the Idaho Fallen Soldiers Memorial or the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery to understand our commitment to freedom.

What do you think of on Memorial Day?  For me, when I see the tombstones I think of the high school graduates who were drafted or volunteered for service.  I think of the men and women who will be forever young.  Forever brilliant and at the height of their lives.  Who gave up fun to dig a ditch, be away from their families, who were scared, yet when the challenge was upon them, they fought and paid the ultimate price.  Can anyone of us imagine what it was like for them just moments before they died?

On Memorial Day, I think of the families of the fallen.  Wives that will never celebrate wedding anniversaries,  daughters, who won't have their fathers to walk them down the aisle.  Sons who won't have their dad's words echoing encouragement during tough times of adolescents.

Wouldn't it be nice if we had the right focus on Memorial Day instead of sales and fun?  If you're looking for something to honor the fallen here are a few events courtesy of the Idaho Statesman: 


•  City cemeteries: Cemeteries will be open to visitors throughout the Memorial Day weekend. A Civil War volunteers group has special tributes planned at two sites on Monday.

The Idaho Civil War Volunteers will conduct its annual Civil War flag-raising ceremony, eulogy and gun salute at noon in the Silent Camp at the Veterans Monument in Morris Hill Cemetery, 317 N. Latah. It will repeat the ceremony at 1:15 p.m. in the Fort Boise Military Reserve Cemetery, 1101 Mountain Cove Road.

Staff will be on site at Morris Hill Cemetery to assist family members and visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Monday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

At graveside, visitors are welcome to place artificial flowers, flags, fresh flowers, and wreaths. No glass or breakable containers are allowed. All mementos must be picked up by June 1 for those who wish to retain them.

•  Idaho State Veterans Cemetery: 10 a.m. on Monday. The ceremony will include a keynote address by Jimmie Foster, adjutant from the American Legion, a cannon and rifle salute, flyover and more. Visitors should park at Optimist Park at Horseshoe Bend and Hill Road. Shuttle service runs from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m.


•  A Time to Pay Tribute: Memorial Day ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Monday at the Rock of Honor Memorial, Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park, 1900 N. Records Ave.

A display of a time capsule that will be buried in 2015 and opened on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War II. Seating is limited; bring a folding chair. Call Meridian Parks and Recreation for more information: 489-0531.


Kohlerlawn Cemetery, 76 Sixth St. N., Nampa

Nearly 1,000 flags will be placed on veterans’ headstones by Boy Scouts and local Young Marines.

A one-hour special Memorial Day celebration will be held at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day. Retired U.S. Army Reserve Col. Scott Syme will give the opening keynote address, and retired Railroad Police Officer Bill Dean will give the closing keynote. Dean will lead walking tours at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., starting at Veteran’s Loop. These tours give a brief narrative on Nampa’s historic individuals. A shuttle will be provided for patrons who may have difficulty with the cemetery terrain.

Here's a list of events in Canyon County from the Idaho Press Tribune:

Hillcrest Memorial Gardens and Cloverdale Funeral Home and Cemetery

A sentinel from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery will visit Cloverdale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The cemetery is located at 1200 N. Cloverdale Road in Boise. On Monday, a motorcycle honor ride will meet at 6:30 a.m. at Cloverdale then leave for Idaho State Veterans Cemetery (10100 Horseshoe Bend Road in Boise) at 7:30 a.m. for the ceremony at 10 a.m. The sentinel will be at State Veterans Cemetery prior to the ceremony and will deliver a keynote address at Hillcrest (15862 S Indiana Ave. in Caldwell) at 1 p.m. that day.

Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, corner of Pride Lane and Middle Road, Caldwell

Chaplain Col. Vahan Sipantzi, U.S. Army Special Forces retired, will speak in a ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. There will also be a flag ceremony by boy scouts and music provided by Cary Hill.

Warhawk Air Museum, 201 Municipal Drive, Nampa

The museum will be open Memorial Day from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Cookies and coffee will be served throughout the day as visitors come to experience, discover and remember the military men and women who have sacrificed for our country.

Parma monument dedication, Old Fort Boise Park, Parma Road and U.S. Highway 26, Parma

The city of Parma will present a dedication ceremony for the old Boise Memorial at 10:30 a.m. Monday.

Guests at the event include the Parma High School Singing Group, the Parma High School Band and Mayor Nathan Leigh.