What is honor?

According to the dictionary, it means high respect or great esteem. It can be used as a noun, but also as a verb, in which case it means to regard with great respect.

Memorial Day is about honor as a verb.

It is a day set aside each May to pay homage to those who served their country and who, in many cases, offered themselves up as a sacrifice for the greater good. 

As a verb, the word honor also means to fulfill or keep something, such as an obligation or an agreement.

For those who call the United States their home, Memorial Day provides the opportunity for the public to fulfill its sense of obligation for those who deserve that honor.

Throughout the area a number of communities are providing the opportunity for the public to pay their respect to those whose actions demonstrated their desire to ensure this nation remains a place where freedoms are guaranteed to everyone.

What follows is a list of the Memorial Day programs being held May 27 in the area:

• A program is being held at 6 p.m. at the National Guard Armory in Redwood Falls. The program will include several readings, music by the Redwood Valley High School band and a keynote address by Dustin Hunter, American Legion Post 38 commander and Redwood County veterans service officer. Refreshments will be served at the American Legion following the program.

• The August Donner American Legion Post in Belview will host a program at 9:30 a.m. in the Odeon Hall. The speaker is Tony Miller. Services will be held at both cemeteries after the program. A potluck is being held at the Legion following the services. The potluck is open to the public.

• Wabasso American Legion Post #263 will host a program at the Wabasso Community Center at 10 a.m. Music will be presented by the Wabasso High School band, with a keynote address by TSgt. Gabrielle Cohrs.

• A program is being held at the community hall in Vesta starting at 7 p.m. The speaker is Bill Palmer, who is a teacher in the Lakeview school district and served in the National Guard. Services follow the program at both cemeteries. Lunch will be served following the services.

• Starting at 6:30 p.m. patriotic music will be presented in Lucan at the community center, with a program beginning at 7 p.m. The speaker will be Chris Dunsmore, a retired member of the National Guard and a current member of the Patriot Guard. Refreshments follow the program.

• In Walnut Grove a program is being held at the elementary school starting at 9:30 a.m., with Jim Mertens, a veteran of the National Guard speaking. The program will also include a performance by the Westbrook-Walnut Grove sixth-grade band.

• A program will be held in Wanda at the Legion hall starting at 10:30 a.m., with an address by Father Tony Hesse. Lunch will be served following the program, with free-will donations being accepted and donated to the Legion.

• American Legion Post #286 in Sanborn will hold a program starting at 10 a.m. at the Sanborn veterans memorial. The program will include an address by Dustin Hunter, Redwood County VSO.

• In Lamberton a program is being held at the Legion hall starting at 10:30 a.m., with a community ensemble providing music. A potluck meal follows the program.

• A program is being held in Milroy at the school starting at 10 a.m. Lee Simmons will present the address. A service will follow at Memorial monument in the park. A community potluck is being held after the service in the Legion hall.

The public is encouraged to take time out of their day this coming Monday to participate in a Memorial Day program as a way to honor those who made it possible for them to enjoy the life they lived yesterday, are living today and can live tomorrow.