I seem to do this for a lot of holidays. Then again, I think Americans relish the day off of work a lot more than realizing why it is they actually get the day off of work. Today is one of those days, like Christmas and Easter, that everyone should stop at least for a minute and pay homage to those that have given the ultimate sacrifice so that you and I can actually HAVE a day off of work!
Today is Memorial Day.
We remember today. We remember those that have given their lives in the pursuit of freedom. We remember today that freedom isn’t free. It’s been excessively costly. It continues to be so. It’s one of those things that if you turn your back on it, even for a short period of time, you could lose. And I fear that we are in the midst of one of those times.
Today is not about hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, or opening the backyard swimming pool. It’s not about the Indy 500, or the Coca Cola 600, both of which yes, I’ll admit to watching yesterday (along with the Monoco Grand Prix). I think both of the American races do a nice job of supporting the troops, and remembering the fallen. I’d hate to think that it’s the only place that does so anymore.
I know when I was a kid there was always a Memorial Day parade. And I’m sure there still are places that do that. You gotta remember, I grew up in small town, midwest America. We had parades every time the Mayor got over a cold. But I do remember going downtown and standing on the street corner as the various Boy Scout troops, and the VFW, and the Shriners, and the High School Band all marched by waving at the people. I never really understood Memorial Day back then. Maybe it took the Vietnam War, when it seemed everyone I knew lost someone they knew in that terrible conflict.
But today, I stop and pause. I do think about those that I knew that lost their lives in battle fighting for freedom. Those people came from all types of families, were all ages, all races, probably all sexual orientations, and all income levels. They all had one thing in common and that was a love of America, and a desire to protect it from all threats, foreign and domestic.
So, today, I ask, no…I BEG you to stop what you’re doing. Think about and thank the memory of someone you know that gave their life for this country. It doesn’t have to include going to a cemetary and putting flowers on a grave marker (though that would be nice). It’s a gentle reminder that yes, we may have political differences, but we ARE one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!