Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress.

Nowhere will you find Congress agreed the day should be used as a marketing tool.

After I returned from Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, I was asked to give the keynote address at a Memorial Day ceremony. My speech was titled, “Memorial Day is not a blue-light special.” My thoughts then, which are even more so now, were and are my frustration with what seems to be primarily auto and furniture dealers and stores hyping “Memorial Day sales.” I find it repugnant that any business or individual profits from those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

My ask of the public is to not do business with anyone or any company that advertises sales in the name of Memorial Day. Please do not let those who put profit over patriotism ahead of those we remember for their sacrifice for our country and freedoms.

Casey Mahon, Elk River, Minn.

The writer is a retired U.S. Air Force officer.

• • •

As we remember those who went to war, let us also remember those who go to work. The heroes who pick up our garbage very day, who serve our children food, those who care for our elderly. These, too, deserve memorial. They do work that supports peace rather than furthering war.

Make no mistake, I and those like me who wore the uniform were trained to kill before any other occupation. Job one.

Let us remember those who are trained and act to support life.

Jim Lovestar, Minneapolis


Nice job — now get back to work

The Legislature’s next step is to reach consensus on how to help Minnesota families by investing in the things they care about, such as clean energy, health care and closing racial disparities. The House worked tirelessly through the regular session to pass bills on many of these issues, including paid family leave, which Gov. Tim Walz supports, while the Senate refused to hear any of these bills in committee.

That is unconscionable. My daughter-in-law gave birth to a baby boy four years ago, but because her job provided her no paid time off, she had to return to work three days after her son was born.

Minnesota needs to live up to its reputation as one of the best states to live in. The Senate can do much to enhance the quality of life for all Minnesota families by stopping their obstructionist ways and leading on the issues that Minnesotans care about.

Arline Datu, St. Paul


Legislature failed to address harassment of students, but must

Recent commentary writer Jessica Melnik has succinctly told the public and the Legislature about horrific treatment by male students at Hopkins school system — as well as the indifference of the administration (“Legislature failed the #TimesUp movement,” May 23).

Though there was bipartisan and bicameral support for inclusion of funding in the K-12 education bill, the Legislature omitted it from the actual bill passed. The Legislature will now need to include additional funding for mental health counseling and suicide prevention, as well as additional school support staff to address these abhorrent issues.

My daughters graduated from Hopkins, but had this atmosphere been prevalent at that time, we would have changed schools. Bring back discipline and respect among students and staff.

Your time’s up.

Judith Hurd, Menomonie, Wis.


Goodbye to a building that served the Minnesota community well

As I shed tears for an inanimate building, I reflect on the memories of a servant’s job well done (“Minneapolis park officials to tear down Bde Maka Ska pavilion after fire,” May 19). You served generations of this city and you were a statue of liberty as you welcomed the masses of guests to your weathered patio: tourists, day trippers, homeowners and homeless. There, we were all Minnesotans.

You were the city’s patio. You embraced us all.

Our memories are eternal and a monument of this community will live on within the souls of the citizens you have left behind.

Well done, good and faithful servant.

Athena N. Priest, Minneapolis

The writer was the owner of Tin Fish, the previous restaurant on the site.

• • •

It appears Lola on the Lake, the restaurant formerly located in the burned pavilion at Bde Maka Ska, will serve out of a food truck and beer wagon this year. That’s great, and it leads to another idea. Why not use that beautiful space overlooking the lake to spotlight all our great food trucks and craft breweries?

Instead of replacing the burned-down building, create spaces for a rotating selection of three or more Minneapolis-based food trucks. Make space for Minneapolis craft brewers and cideries, too. Create good seating areas, some sun-shaded, some with umbrellas, and some open. Plant some trees. The only permanent structure needed would be a practical and attractive building for restrooms and storage. You could go wild and set up a stage.

Lola on the Lake should be given priority, at least for as long as their contract runs. After that, devise a way for food truck owners to sign up and customers to vote on who gets the spots.

You might call it “Taste of Minneapolis” or “The Minneapolis Burned-Down Food Fair.”

John Widen, Minneapolis


Real world requires ‘adversity scores’

In an ideal world, where everyone has equitable opportunities and resources, we would not need an “adversity score” (“A score doesn’t solve student issues,” Readers Write, May 24). But what a recent letter writer failed to acknowledge is that we don’t live in that world.

I, too, wish we did not need things like adversity scores. I wish that every child in this country had access to strong education, enrichment activities, families that did not worry about how to pay the next bill or provide the next meal, a permanent place to sleep every night, opportunities to sit and read and think and learn and play, etc.

But we are not there. Yet. Until we are, it is our responsibility to level that playing field as best as we can, to find pathways for everyone to obtain a college education, so that we can truly be a country that is living its values of equality and opportunity.

Sharon DeMark, St. Paul


Cool summer doesn’t sound so bad

As a lifelong Minnesotan, I’ve come to appreciate the nuances of every season. This upcoming summer portends to be cool and wet (“Bummer of a summer in Minnesota?,” May 23). I couldn’t be happier! The last few summers in Minnesota have been unbearable: Don’t forget the blazing-hot interior of our vehicles, the sticky mirage of multiple lanes of rush-hour traffic, restless sleep, heat stroke in minutes, unhealthy air and plain old lethargy.

Summers with temperatures in the 70s is downright perfect. Heck, when it is so humid outside and everyone is indoors, it might as well be winter!

Sharon E. Carlson, Andover