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Our View: Memorial Day offers time for reflection, safety

Who's ready for summer? Or late spring. Or whatever it is we'll be calling what hopefully is the end to this roller coaster of a weather trend.

Either way, this weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer. For many of us, that will mean wetting the first line of the season after the blustery fishing opener kept most anglers ashore. Others will be up at the cabin, where hammocks will be stretched out during the days and campfires will be lit at night.

Many more will enjoy the long weekend at home, where yardwork beckons - along with nearby golf courses that are also bound to tempt others among us.

More than a couple of us will throw back a celebratory drink as we welcome the summer and pay tribute to the fallen veterans for whom the holiday is commemorated. Invariably, some revelers will get carried away. For those who would jump in the car after one too many, we urge restraint.

If you're planning on cooling down with a bellyful of cocktails, please be sure to add a sober driver to those plans. According to data released earlier this week, Minnesota has already eclipsed the 100 mark for traffic deaths in 2013. That's a rough start to a year we're not even halfway through.

And if you're willing to chance it, you can bet there will be scads of extra law enforcement on the roads with drunken drivers in their crosshairs.

It's also worth keeping a clear head to remember why many of us get the day off work. Memorial Day commemorates those lost on the field of battle, but we also use the day to reflect on those veterans who have died after their service to the country.

Many local veterans will gather at 11 a.m. at the Woodbury Lions Memorial for the annual Memorial Day event, where retired Lt. Col. William Mozey Jr. will be the keynote speaker.

If you don't attend, consider taking a moment for personal reflection at 3 p.m. Monday during the National Moment of Remembrance to honor those who died in service.