Seems like Memorial Day came early this year.

We all know what Memorial Day means it’s the unofficial start of the summer season. People start hitting the shore as often as possible and the roads between here and there become traffically challenged until fall arrives. And we can wear white pants and straw hats.

Well, you can wear white pants if you want. I’m not sure I ever owned a pair of white pants. (The closest I got was back in the 1970s, when folks bought packages of something that was made to give new blue jeans that faded look. If you weren’t careful your indigo jeans would wind up so light blue they looked almost white. Still, that was an accident, I

I do, however, wear straw hats.

I have confirmed that my recent weight loss has taken a size off my noggin. Yes, all my hats, lovely Stetsons and cheap toppers alike, are mostly too big now.

So I ordered a new Stetson and can still use the straw Stetson from last season for now — so far.

But, friends, this is not about the beach, white pants or straw hats.

Memorial Day is different from Veterans Day, which is celebrated in November. That’s the day we honor all those who served in uniform, dead and alive.

But Memorial Day is for those military heroes who died in uniform, while serving the country. Not your Uncle Wally, the World War II veteran who died in a nursing home in 2007. But people like Sean Kelly and Dennis Hammond and Steve Sutherland and Bill Cahir and Ryan Iaconelli and other guys whose names, if not their heroic demise, escapes me just now.

These men took an oath some of us took. It included the vow to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

In recent times, some people have tried to limit our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit  of happiness through acts of international terrorism.

Some people try to limit our rights to fly our flag where we want to fly it.

Some try to limit our right to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to that flag.

Some try to limit our right to protect our borders.

Some try to circumvent our right to protect ourselves from illegal search and seizure.

Some try to limit our right to protect ourselves.

In some cases, these rights are being eroded through misguided political correctness.

Some of these rights are being eroded through misguided leadership.

That’s why, this Memorial Day, I remembered those who died, but also realized that what they died FOR is once again under attack.

So, it wasn’t, and isn’t, about cold sixpacks and sun screen and flip flops and Friday night traffic jams.

It’s about our rights to experience all those things.