Article submitted by Brian S. Kiefat @ The Ready Center
After dealing with the onslaught of “Memorial Day” photos all over Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and the rest of the internet, it seems necessary that someone remind America what Memorial Day is really about. And what it’s not about.
Memorial Day is NOT about beer, BBQ’s, the “Memorial Day” Sale at the store around the corner, or spending time with family. If you’ve spent more time focusing on those today than anything else, you’ve failed.
Memorial Day is NOT about posting pictures of your loved ones who have never served in the United States military. As much as everyone understands your pain and the difficult healing process involved in losing a love one, today is not about them. I’m sorry.
Memorial Day is NOT about honoring our current military. If you’ve taken the time to personally thank a Soldier, Marine, Airman, Sailor, or Coast Guardsman that was a very kind gesture, but it has absolutely NOTHING to do with Memorial Day.
Memorial Day is NOT about decorating the entire town in red, white, and blue or putting up more American Flags than any one person could count. If that’s your thing, good for you, but do everyone a favor and just wait for Flag Day. It’s coming up in June.
Memorial Day is a a day of remembering all the men and women in our military who have given the ultimate sacrifice (aka HAVE DIED) while serving we the people of the United States of America. Let me break this down for you. There are MANY fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, cousins, grandchildren, wives, husbands, fiances, and best friends who will NEVER come back home to their loved ones because they are dead. There are countless birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, family nights, vacations, kisses, hugs, and joyful smiles that will never happen again…. Ever… because someone didn’t come home from the battle field.
Some daughters will NEVER know what it’s like to have their father give them away at their wedding. Some sons will NEVER know what it’s like to play ball with their dad. Others will NEVER know the touch of their spouse or children ever again. The world will NEVER be the same for these families and should NEVER be for the rest of us. Brave men and women have selflessly sacrificed the rest of their lives with their family so you and I can celebrate with ours. For this we should be eternally grateful.
If you truly want to observe Memorial Day, I challenge you to find someone who has been widowed or orphaned by a service member, fall to your knees, look up at them trying not to cry, and heartfully muttering something like,
“My heart is truly broken for your loss. I am so sorry. I am not worthy of the freedoms that your loved one died for. I promise that I will live the rest of my life in a manner that is honoring to their sacrifice, and your loss.”
That’s what Memorial Day is about.
The Ready Center