Memorial Day brings time to reflect on cost of war.

Weather-wise, Memorial Day weekend should be a winner.

The forecast calls for warm temperatures and sunny skies much of the weekend the kind of conditions that set up nicely for family picnics, a trip to the pool or other outdoor activities.

Regardless of the fun and festivities planned, we should never overlook the reason for the federal holiday.

As area residents plan out their three-day weekend, they should set aside time for a Memorial Day service as a way to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday, and to show respect for those laid to rest.

Locally, one such event is set for 11 a.m. Monday at Garden City's Valley View Cemetery, with the ceremony taking place at the Veterans Monument.

Garden City Commissioner John Doll will be the featured speaker. The program also will include a performance by the Garden City Municipal Band, celebrating its 134th season, and Garden City area veterans.

In case of inclement weather, the program will be presented at the American Legion's new location at 405 S. Main St.

Veterans know full well that Memorial Day is about honoring men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their nation. It's also a time to reflect on the contributions of those at war who always need to be in our thoughts and prayers.

But we have to wonder if those sentiments are lost on some Americans, many of whom go about their daily lives with little thought about those previous sacrifices, or even the U.S. military's current involvement in ongoing war overseas.

They should know the decision to go to war is the most consequential a nation can make. It's done knowing lives of brave young men and women will be lost or otherwise changed forever.

There's much to learn from accomplishments and mistakes made at war. The hope is the lessons learned are put to good use, especially in avoiding future fighting when possible.

We all need to stop and think about war's costly toll. While reminders abound on Memorial Day, it's something to keep in mind every day.