Each Memorial Day I find that I am a bit sadder. It seems to me that fewer and fewer people take the time to remember those who have given their lives in order that we may have the freedoms that we have in this country. For most people to whom I have spoken, Memorial Day has one meaning and that is the kick-off to the summer season and should be celebrated for that reason. It is the first holiday of the summer with the 4th of July being the one in the middle and Labor Day being the last one. But people aren’t sure which holiday is Memorial Day and which is Labor Day because the reason for the holidays have gotten lost over time.
“For those who I will never meet, I wish to honor them by creating a whole new attitude about the “tough” times in my life. “Barbara Jacoby
I have tried to figure out why this is so. Statistics show that 58,000 lives were lost during the Vietnam War and more than 100,000 during World War II. Another big factor may be that the armed forces were staffed by draft during the previous wars as opposed to the current staffing by all volunteers. As a result, it seems that fewer people now know someone in service to this country who has lost their life as well as the fact that those who are serving made the choice to do so rather than being forced to do so.
The one thing that seems to be lost about the reason for Memorial Day is that it is for remembering everyone who died in the fight for our Republic and the defense of the freedoms that we enjoy in this country. Not everyone, including our service personnel, may agree with the causes that the government decides in which we should participate but everyone should agree that every single person who has given their life deserves our utmost respect and appreciation.
I know that I can’t begin to know and understand what these very special people have gone through in their service. Not having lost a family member or personal acquaintance, I can’t begin to pretend to know the hole that is left in the hearts of those who have lost a love one. For those who must carry on and raise and provide for their families without that person who is not and will never be a part of their lives again is beyond sad to me. And I do believe that the very least that we can do is to remember and honor them at least one time a year on this very special holiday.
For those who I will never meet, I wish to honor them by creating a whole new attitude about the “tough” times in my life. I want to remind myself that what I am facing is nothing in comparison to what our military personnel had to face in the giving of their lives for us and when certain times or circumstances become overwhelming, I will fight onward and upward for myself and for those around me and never give up. After all, if other people can fight for my life and my God-given freedoms, it is certainly the very least that I can do for myself.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.