By KAREN MASTERSON
HALFWAY - Local veterans of war gathered Friday for a noon celebration of what they called the real Memorial Day.
"Not too many people know (May 30) is really Memorial Day. We're stubborn and celebrate it," said Maj. Dieter Protsch, secretary of the Joint Veterans Council of Washington County.
About 50 veterans in uniform and supporters congregated around the war memorial in Martin L. Snook Memorial Park.
Sgt. Ray Linebaugh, president of the Joint Veterans Council, said the federal government "cheapens" Memorial Day by making it part of a long, commercialized weekend. "Memorial Day should not be for sale, it's a day to honor our comrades."
He said young people see the day as part of a vacation weekend, not a serious day for paying tribute to millions of U.S. soldiers who died at war.