“America without her soldiers would be like God without His angels.”
– Claudia Pemberton
Memorial Day is a holiday that we observe on the last Monday in May. Its origins began after the Civil War, and it was initially known as Decoration Day. It became a federal holiday in 1971.
Some Americans confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day. On Memorial Day, we honor military personnel who died defending our country. You cannot say it too often: They paid the highest price of devotion to our nation. I would also add that those left behind, those who cared about them, also paid a heavy toll.
We greet Memorial Day with the soberest of emotions every year. It is a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice our countrymen and women paid, going back from our revolutionary roots to the current day. Even in these tumultuous times, the sacrifices made by these warriors — men and women of every color, creed, national origin and social class — gave our country the safety and security that all of us enjoy.
I can’t help but recall what many describe as President John F. Kennedy’s most famous quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
All our soldiers, before, during and after President Kennedy’s words, answered the call of service to their country. And they gave the best that they had themselves.
We often celebrate Memorial Day with parades, picnics and wreath-laying ceremonies, all fitting tributes to those who earned it. And if you want to do something different, here is one suggestion. If you know of someone who was a veteran, but no one places flowers or a flag at his or her gravestone, contact your local veterans’ association so that they can give credit where it is due.
And most importantly, on this Memorial Day and those to come, let us all never forget their sacrifice. May God bless our fallen American heroes.
That’s my take, what’s yours?