Memorial Day is the day we set aside to remember heroes of our Armed Forces who were lost in battle. A few years ago, the late actor Charles Durning recounted what it was like to be a 20 year old soldier seeing his first combat during Operation Overlord, or D-Day.

For fifty years, Mr. Durning didn't really talk that much about his experiences on the battlefield, but when the 50th anniversary of D-Day came around in 1994, he allowed his memories to unfold for a documentary, and for the PBS special shown in the video above. Mr. Durning went on to be awarded three Purple Hearts for wounds he suffered and a Silver Star for valor. He was the only survivor of the unit with which he landed on the beach at Normandy on D-Day.

Memorial Day is considered the start of the summer, and there are some great sales on cool stuff this weekend, and that's all good. But before you head out for some fun in the sun, take a few minutes to listen to the memories of a man who fought for our country and watched so many of his fellow soldiers die for our country. A few minutes is not too much to ask to honor their service and their sacrifice so that we may grill hot dogs and take a three day weekend in peace.

We thank all of our Armed Forces for their service, but on Memorial Day, we pause to say a special prayer of thanks from a grateful nation for the men and women who were willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We could never repay them, and we will never forget.

And because I want to also remember Charles Durning's life after his service in the Army, here is a clip that shows what a wonderful actor he was. This is from 'The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas', and his gleeful performance is one of my favorites of his.