Reflecting on Memorial Day
Barbeques, beaches, and a three-day weekend.
These are many of the things that first come to mind when one approaches Memorial Day weekend, which is considered by many as the official start to summer. I know that I personally planned a trip to my alma mater two months in advance for this special occasion, understanding that the beginning of “summer friday’s” and Memorial Day gave me almost a three and a half day weekend to enjoy warm weather, cold beers, and best friends. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a stark, honest truth: as much as I understood the pretense of Memorial Day, I had almost let myself truly forget the importance of such a reflective day of remembrance.
Yes, the arrival of Memorial Day coincides with Facebook posts that proclaim the heroism of our troops at home and abroad, soapbox rants about people who are selfish and “don’t understand Memorial Day” and moments that are simultaneously juxtaposed by those who use such a day as a political platform; but these are all distant and less-than-personal understandings of what Memorial Day truly means.
In essence, Memorial Day — or Decoration Day, as it is sometimes called — is meant to honor those who have given their lives to the preservation of the safety and peace of the United States. While you may or may not have agreed on the nature of the wars or altercations being fought, from the past and in the present, the respect and humility one must feel towards another human being who has willingly laid down their life to protect the freedoms of others, must and should be celebrated. It is this selflessness, this sense of sacrifice, and this depthless duty to a common and noble cause that allows us to find the time to celebrate in the comfort of our own homes, amongst our families, and with the bounties we still have.
So please, from all of us at SR, enjoy your grilling and swimming and beachy music, among the brothers and sisters and friends you can still hug and enjoy. And think warmly and with reverence, of those who cannot join you.
“A mother’s plea — please don’t forget. On this Memorial Day, and every day, let us be true and meet that promise. Let it be our task, every single one of us, to honor the strength and the resolve and the love these brave Americans felt for each other and for our country. Let us never forget to always remember and to be worthy of the sacrifice they make in our name.”