It's not about barbecues and golfing and days off from work: Memorial Day is for the fallen soldiers and those who died at the expense of America's freedom.
That was the message delivered Monday by U.S. Marine Sgt. Major Michael Templeton, who lost friends in his three tours of Iraq.
In a speech at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona del Mar, Templeton turned the holiday on its head, using his time at the lectern to express some of his dislikes and even admitting that at first he didn't even want to speak to the crowd of Newport Beach veterans.
He laid partial blame on the American school system, saying teachers, in his opinion, don't do enough to teach about its history.
He also handed out copies of various cartoons from different newspapers, in which the preoccupation of brats and beer and barbecues took precedent over the actual spirit of the holiday.