"If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can read this in English, thank a veteran."
by Skip Cohen
Every year when I write my Memorial Day post, I struggle with what to write. The challenge isn't about what I want to say. It's finding a new way to express my appreciation for families who have lost loved ones serving in the military, those who have served, and our active members of the military today.
This year my appreciation extends well beyond defending democracy. As a result of the pandemic, many members of the military are wearing a very different hat. They're helping to fight an invisible terrorist, as they repeatedly become first responders too.
As in past Memorial Day posts, this is the right time to remind everybody, at least, those on the younger side of the curve, what the holiday is all about. Here's the definition from Wikipedia:
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
We've been fortunate in my family and Sheila's. We've never lost anybody on the battlefield, starting with both our Dads who served. But, Sheila and I have both lost friends going back to the Viet Nam War. And having a son who's actively serving today and having done multiple tours, we're very much in tune with the worries every military parent shares.
For those of you who have lost a loved one in war, thank you for your incredible service. There's no sacrifice greater than the one you've made. And if you've served or have a family member serving now, thank you for your service, support, and focus on helping to keep us safe.
Wishing everybody a safe and HEALTHY Memorial Day!
We don't know them all, but we owe them all.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.