The other day, someone came up to me and wished me “Happy Memorial Day”. I don’t understand that. How can the day, where we pause and reflect on those who gave their lives in defense of our freedom, be happy? It’s like telling someone who recently lost a loved one “Have a happy funeral”.
We as a Nation take freedom for granted, because it is all we have ever known. Folks wake-up each day able to enjoy freedoms, but they came at a cost. Memorial Day is intended to be that day we as a Nation remember the cost. Since our founding fathers, over 665 thousand Americans have given their lives in defense of our freedoms.
Most recently over 6000 have died protecting our freedoms and our way of life in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, behind each of those fallen heroes is a Family that mourns the loss of their loved ones everyday.
A problem we as a Nation are experiencing is reflected in these numbers. Less than 1% of the American public currently serves our Nation in the US Military, but we all enjoy the freedoms provided by that select few. Today, 76% of the American public confesses that they have no idea what our Veteran’s are going thru. It’s not that they don’t care, they just don’t know.
We as a Nation must remember that Memorial Day is intended to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. It is not just another day off, or a time for BBQ and sales. We should spend the day remembering their sacrifices.
Candidly, every day should be Memorial Day. I guarantee that the Families of the Fallen are thinking about their loved one daily. We should as well.
Here’s a thought. Why don’t we, as a Nation, do something in memory of our Fallen heroes on Memorial Day? Make it a day of action. Attending Memorial Day functions, with your Family, is a step in the right direction. Take the time to teach your children about the true cost of freedom as you stand over a gravestone or a memorial.
Here’s a thought. How about if we do something in the service of others that day? Visit our Veterans in the local VA center. Help out in a homeless shelter. Gather up belongings and donate them to those in need. Show your kids that they too can serve.
So please stay focused on Memorial Day. It is not intended to be a Happy Day. It is intended to be a time when we, as a Nation, remember the true cost of freedom.