For some it’s a day for barbecues and picnics or perhaps for attending sporting events, family gatherings, or taking a vacation getaway. Many others will spend the day shopping or perhaps even buying a new car.
Memorial Day is also the traditional start of summer in the United States. Above all, however, it is or should be a patriotic holiday.
But what is patriotism after all?
For some patriotism is something loud, perhaps a group of people who’ve had a little too much to drink shouting USA! USA! USA!. Or the sound of tens of thousands of motorcycles loudly descending on Washington, D.C. and letting everyone know they are there.
But to me patriotism is something quieter, something better understood in pictures than in sounds.
With so much going on this day it’s easy to forget the holiday’s real purpose, which is to honor those American service members who died fighting for the country they loved.
War isn’t just about the men and women who make the supreme sacrifice, of course. It’s about their families as well, the people who are left behind to grow old without a husband or wife, father or mother, son or daughter; someone who loved and was loved and is gone forever.
Forever is a very long time.
Thank you for your sacrifice to all who died fighting for a vision of America those who sent them to war too often dishonor and disgrace.
I hope everyone will take a few moments today to remember the sacrifices that make our enjoyment of today possible.