It is now Memorial Day and I find that I am a bit sadder on this holiday each year. 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. Often, people aren’t sure about the reason why we even have a Memorial Day because the history has gotten lost over time.
“Not having served myself, I know that I can’t begin to know and understand what these very special people have gone through in their service.”Barbara Jacoby
How grateful I am for every single person who has ever served in the military and given up their life so that we may have our freedoms! They put their lives on the line to serve our country, both domestically and internationally. They have protected us in all types of crises and have sacrificed themselves in order to save others. They have done everything necessary to protect all of our freedoms so that we can live our lives as we choose. So why is it so difficult for us to honor them for one day each year in return?
I am all for celebrating the day but I think that we can do so without forgetting the underlying meaning. I love the parades and the festivals and the picnics and the family gatherings but I don’t think that any event should happen without at least some reminder of the reason for this day.
The one thing that seems to be lost about the reason for Memorial Day is that it is for remembering all of our fallen military members. Not everyone, including our service personnel, may agree with the causes that the government decides in which we should participate. However, everyone should agree that every single person who has given their lives in the service of this country deserves our utmost respect and appreciation.
Not having served myself, 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. Not knowing someone so close to any combat situation where they lost someone next to them. But, I do know that each of these people took an oath to defend the Constitution of this great country and gave their life in return to honor that commitment.
I know that those words can never begin to express my appreciation for their sacrifices and for all that they have done for all of us but for me, they are true heroes. 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 have had to face 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 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.