Every Memorial Day I stumble around trying to figure out what to write. I always like to start out the same way, because we've stepped so far away from the definition of the holiday and how it got started.
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.
In my family we've been fortunate and never lost anybody on the battlefield, starting with my Dad in WWII. But, Sheila and I have both lost friends over the years going back to the Viet Nam War. And, having a son who's actively serving today, and who has done multiple tours of the Middle East, we're very much in tune with the worries every military parent shares.
This is a short post this morning...
For any of you who have lost a loved one in war, thank you for your incredible service. We all recognize there's no sacrifice greater than the one you've made. For those of you with family members serving now, thank you for your support and dedication.
Lastly, for those of you thinking Memorial Day is simply the kick-off of summer - be safe, enjoy the day, but somewhere in the midst of your holiday barbecue take five minutes and think about our military. Regardless of your opinion and the politics, they always deserve our utmost respect!
"If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can read this in English, thank a veteran."
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