It’s Memorial Day and for most, it’s a day to sleep in. A day to have away from work to use for a barbecue, spend time at the pool or some other thing. It might even be seen as the unofficial beginning to summer. While all of these things are noble in terms of taking the time to enjoy a little of this or that, we need to make sure that we remember why we are doing what we are doing.
Memorial Day has a long history here in the United States. The day originally started as Decoration Day back in the 1860’s to honor those that had died in the civil war for the Union. When World War One came on, it was extended to include all service men and women that died for their country in defense of it. It was moved to the last Monday of May in 1968 by Congress to make it part of a three day weekend.
The whole purpose of the day is to honor those that have given their all for this nation. There have been so many that have given their all for this nation in wars that have taken place over the years that we have all been touched by those that serve in one way or another. I have a late grandfather that served and I also have a late uncle that did so. There are several others in the family that have served and there are those that I call friend that gave time in service to this nation. While I know that each of them didn’t do it for the credit in front of people, they nevertheless deserve it. I also know that they would not begrudge those of us who want to cook out and take the day off. Still, it’s up to those of us who have not served to take the time to thank those that do serve.
I wonder if we could show our appreciation in some different ways. Rather than put up our American flag on just one day, could we all take the time to put up a flag and leave it up? Could we take the time to stop and thank someone in the uniform when we see them. I recently came across several veterans in some of the travels that I have done and they are not that hard to find. In addition, I wonder if we could get in touch with the local recruiters office or local national guard station and ask some really good questions along the lines of what can I do practically to show my appreciation. Maybe even asking the question, what can I do to make a difference in the life of someone in the service today?
Finally, let’s all make sure that we lift a glass of something today in honor of those that have given their all. When I look around at what a great nation we have, it reminds me that the sacrifice that they gave let’s those that gave it all, live on in memory still bright.