I’m out of the office today and I hope that you’re making time for family as you celebrate Memorial Day, which is also called Decoration Day. I’ve written about the basis and rituals behind Memorial day before: Honoring Those Who Gave Their All and Memorial Day – A Time of Remembrance. The short story is that this is the day you remember those who have given their all to ensure your freedom. Even though the day was started as a means to remember those who fought and died in the Civil War, the day has come to emphasize the need to remember everyone who has died in every war in which Americans have fought. The price for your freedom is extraordinarily high—paid for in the blood of fallen sailors, soldiers, airmen, and marines. Our need to preserve and cherish our freedoms, no matter how you might believe, is as great as the price these people have paid.
I know that most people will take today and spend time with family. That’s a good thing to do as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think that anyone who has given their all for you will mind even a little and would probably be right there with you if they could. However, spending a few minutes considering the immense gift these individuals have given you is important too. When we forget their gift to us, we begin down the road of losing the freedoms for which they fought so hard. A time of remembrance is essential if we are to learn from history and potentially avoid the mistakes we’ve made in the past.
Today is also a good day to thank the living. Yes, I know we have Veterans Day set aside as a specific time for thanking a vet, but letting the living know that we appreciate their efforts is never misplaced. So, while you’re taking time out to grill a steak on the barbecue, consider the gift that you’ve received in the past and thank someone who is giving of their time now. The person you thank today could very well be the person you remember tomorrow.