While this coming three-day
weekend is a portent to summer, the Monday holiday was created as a day of mourning. So please make a point to pause on Monday — Memorial Day — and give thanks for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this great country.
Memorial Day began as Decoration Day after the Civil War, when families spruced up the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers who died or visited a memorial. In 1971, Congress made it a national holiday.
Since then, though, as sometimes happens, the message has been lost as Madison Avenue has used it to promote everything from automobile sales to mattresses. Let’s all remember the real reason we mark the day.
Our soldiers who gave all were not supermen with superpowers. These were ordinary men and women called to do extraordinary things — to face life and death situations as we slept comfortably in our beds.
Their lives are summed up in the second stanza of “In Flanders Fields”:
“We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.”
Giving a salute, attending a memorial event, or reading names inscribed on a wall are simple ways of honoring our war dead, and we should pay our respects as they carved out the freedoms we all take for granted today.
Beyond the barbecues and swimming, the golf and the day off from work, let’s pause to remember the sacrifice of those who stepped forward to serve and never returned.
We have all that we have because someone else was willing to give all they had. –