As we come to a close with Memorial Day weekend, I would like to spend a moment to discuss the importance of this past Monday. While some people may view this day as an extra break from the workweek, I view it as a day to honor our fallen brothers and sisters who have died on the battlefield. As a son and brother to two American heroes, I have seen the best and the worst of the military lifestyle. But the one thing I wholeheartedly respect is the sacrifice that our soldiers give to this nation each and everyday.
Now before I begin, I have to of course discuss the history of this commemorative United States holiday. Memorial Day started on May 30, 1868, when Union General John A. Logan declared the day an occasion to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers. Twenty years later, the name was changed to Memorial Day. On May 11, 1950, Congress passed a resolution requesting that the President issue a proclamation calling on Americans to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. Today, this tradition continues every year on the last Monday of May.
Unlike Veteran’s day, where we as a nation thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military during both wartime and peacetime, Memorial Day does however, play along the lines of a more darker and somber theme. For Memorial Day, this federal United States holiday remembers and honors any military personnel who died in the service for our country. While simple in it’s meaning, the day itself speaks loudly to the ultimate sacrifice these soldiers have given to our country. For me, this day reflects the rights and freedom that make this country great. It personifies the solemn pride and heroism that our soldiers embody every time they leave for duty. But most importantly, it offers the ever so grateful gratitude to those who have sacrifice their own personal freedom and lives so that we can live ours each and every day. For this day, we as Americans must remember that besides the extra twenty-four hours to the weekend, Memorial Day is, in itself, a remembrance for the true heroes in our American history.
So as you wrap up your first day back at work, remember to thank the soldiers and armed forces that continue to fight for our freedom. Some of them have paid the ultimate sacrifice and it is our job to provide an incredible amount of gratitude for who they are and what they do.