Memorial Day means many things to different people. It is the official kickoff of summer celebrated with picnics and gatherings with family and friends. And it is a welcome day off work or school.

Memorial Day means many things to different people. It is the official kickoff of summer celebrated with picnics and gatherings with family and friends. And it is a welcome day off work or school.

But in small and large towns all across the country, Memorial Day is a time to remember.

Next Monday, May 31, we will remember those who have given service to our country in the name of freedom. We will honor and appreciate the men and women who have served in the past, and remember those serving today. It takes a special person to commit their life to service. Memorial Day is a great time to tell our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines they are special people. The demands on our military men and women are incredible. And their dedication matches the service of the noble generations who have served before them.

In addition to service, Memorial Day is a time to honor sacrifice. We often think about the ultimate sacrifice - the loss of many during past and current wars. We will honor those who have died, but we can't forget those who have suffered the many wounds of war. Many of our veterans suffer physical wounds, but there are many emotional wounds and scars of war we can't see. And we should not forget the parents, spouses and children - the families of our military men and women who have lost loved ones. Memorial Day is a time to remember their insurmountable loss and sacrifice.

And like Veterans Day, Memorial Day for veterans young and old is a time to reflect on the memories of those we served with, especially those comrades we lost, or who are not yet accounted for.

Finally, Memorial Day is a holiday that reminds us of our commitment, our call to duty for the continued freedoms we enjoy every day. And for all of us, it is a reminder to honor those who have died and to thank those who are serving now.

For service, sacrifice and commitment - we remember.

Join us Monday, May 31, at 11 a.m. for Dublin's traditional Memorial Day celebration led by the Wesley G. Davids Dublin Post 800 of the American Legion and Dublin Post 10691 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The parade will begin at Bridge Pointe Plaza followed by the processional march to Dublin Cemetery. At noon there will be a Memorial Day commemoration at the Grounds of Remembrance at Dublin's Veterans Park, followed by a picnic lunch and music by the Dublin Jerome jazz band on the "green" south of Grounds of Remembrance next to the library. Please bring blankets and lawn chairs for your comfort.

Dana McDaniel, Dublin's deputy city manager and director of economic development, is a 28-year veteran of the Ohio Army National Guard, serving in Iraq in 2006. For information on Dublin's Memorial Day commemoration, call (614) 410-4450 or visit www.dublin.oh.us.