For many people, Memorial Day celebrates the beginning of the summer vacation season. Celebrations, pool parties, parades, and grill-outs occur every year on the last Monday in May. Memorial Day has always been a symbolic and sentimental day for me. I find myself calling families of the men I knew who were killed in action, assisting in planting flags at my former university, or sharing memories of past heroes among new acquaintances.
Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veteran’s Day. I will never be arrogant enough to correct someone who thanks me for my service, but there is a difference between these two holidays. On Memorial Day, we salute the men and women who died while in the service to our country’s armed forces. Veteran’s Day commemorates all those who have served in the military.
This year, I hope that you are able to reflect and perhaps pass on a story about one of our fallen heroes. By remembering them, we keep their sacrifices alive and shine a light on what it means to be selfless. At 1500 hours (three p.m.), Congress has enacted a national moment of silence. Feel free to pass this on to anyone you know. I’ve heard the rhetoric surrounding people who don’t treat Memorial Day as it was meant to symbolize. Let’s not be critical of people or treat them as ignorant, but rather inform them and be encouraging. I think this is what our fallen would have wanted. We are the land of the free, home of the brave. In remembrance, please post anyone’s name or story in comments. Be blessed and safe on this Memorial Day weekend.
Image courtesy for Robert L. Lang