To the editor of THE EAGLE:

Spring is once again here in the Berkshires. Spring extends to everyone new opportunities to finish what may have been started last fall, as well as afford us all the opportunity to begin anew.

Spring also welcomes traditional holidays, beginning with Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a federal holiday that was originally known as Decoration Day, which had its beginning shortly after the Civil War. It was initiated by a Union general to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War.

Sometime during the early portion of the 20th century, Memorial Day became a day to remember all of the women and men who have passed away after honorably serving in the U.S. armed forces. Today it is common to honor all of those men and women by placing an American flag at their grave site. Family members are remembered as well by placing flowers on their grave sites.

This year, as we honor our deceased veterans and family members, take a few extra minutes and embrace the opportunity to locate your town of city’s veterans memorial. Read the names of these veterans and relate them to the era in which they served their country with honor. If you cannot locate a memorial within your community ask local officials where you might find it. If one does not exist, request the officials to take the steps to have a memorial erected.

Later this year, our troops will be leaving Afghanistan, and for the time in many years the U.S. will, hopefully, not be engaged in active combat. Once again, we will have a new opportunity to honor and remember those men and women who have proudly served our country.

PETER J. BLAKE

Washington

The writer is a member of VVA Chapter 65 in Pittsfield.