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Local veterans worry the true of meaning of Memorial Day lost amidst personal celebrations, cookouts

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Posted at 8:47 AM, May 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-31 09:50:42-04

CLEVELAND — Their reason for risking their lives and serving our country is simple.

“All gave some and some gave all,” said Donald Jaffe, an Army Reserves and Ohio Military Reserves Vet. “Some gave all is Memorial Day.”

Jaffe along with many other veterans across Northeast Ohio believe enlisting was simply the right thing to do. Their selflessness and courage are what we celebrate today.

“For me, it's a very personal connection that I'm honoring my own ancestor who gave his life for the preservation of the union,” said Tim Daley, Retired Executive Director of Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

But there is a growing concern.

Jaffe feels as if there’s no longer a true appreciation and connection between veterans and younger generations.

“Over the years, I think there has been a decline in the public recognition of it,” Jaffe explained. “There's also a large portion, particularly I think the younger generation, is not fully aware. They think, oh, it's something present day and they have no idea or realization of just what it meant. It's just, you know, what's a hundred years ago may seem like a long time, but overall, it's not really long at all.”

Veteran Michael Skiwinski agrees,

He hopes we all take time to truly acknowledge the past but also pay more respect to those who give their all.

“A lot of times, you know, particularly Memorial Day, we start celebrating with barbecues and picnics and we forget the true meaning behind it,” he said. " It's not just a civil war era thing. You know, we still lose soldiers, sailors, marines. And it's important to remember them, remember the sacrifices that they and their families have made.