Friday, May 27, 2011

So What's Memorial Day All About?

Memorial Day: Merriam-Webster defines it as: May 30 formerly observed as a legal holiday in most states of the United States in remembrance of war dead.

To me, it’s a lot more. Memorial Day should honor not only the war dead, but anyone who has served our country in any capacity as well as their loved ones.

It should also honor those who were injured in the line of duty, in many cases changing their lives dramatically: having to live with a missing limb, limbs, eyesight, hearing etc. They were injured serving us. We cannot dismiss that fact.

It should also honor the families of those who served: families who suffered losses due to the death or a son or daughter, in some instances multiple losses from a single family; husband or wife, mother or father: families whose lives were changed dramatically.

It should honor the payroll clerk or the PX employee, and all others who served our country in any capacity; each who did his or her job, his or her part. Even though they didn’t face combat, they served. If they served honorably, their service should be acknowledged and they should be honored along with those who gave the ultimate sacrifice: their lives, along with those who suffered injury yet survived.

We can honor the dead from recent and past wars. Those dead will not know that they are being honored. Or, we can honor the living and the dead from recent and past wars. We can celebrate with the living and honor the memory of their loved ones while honoring the living too.

It simply appears to be the right thing to do. Everyone cited above is a hero in their own special way. Why not honor all the heroes?

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