Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. To many people, especially the nation's thousands of combat veterans, this day, which has a history stretching back all the way to the Civil War, is an important reminder of those who died in the service of their country.
So...say thanks to a veteran...tell someone in the Armed Forces you appreciate what they do for this country regardless of how you feel about the President, remember the sacrifices that have been made not just in the past, but also just this year.
I will be saying thanks to my Dad, a Vietnam vet (twice!), a combat-rescue helicopter pilot, and a 30-year Air Force officer, as well as my grandfather, a WWII veteran who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor aboard the USS Maryland and served in the Navy for over 20 years. I am really, truly grateful for their service to this country, and I wish I remembered to say it more than twice a year, on Veteran's Day and on Memorial Day. I also need to say "thanks" to many of my friends and former colleagues who currently serve in the military (you know who you are!), some of whom are sitting in some pretty crappy places right now...definitely not enjoying a barbecue with their families or celebrating the beginning of summer with a long weekend. You guys rock!
Alright, those who know me know that I once I get started on a sappy, patriotic monologue you can't shut me up (Oh, who am I kidding? You can never shut me up!!)...so I will attempt to shut myself up and leave you with rather a somber quote...but fitting nonetheless.
"...gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime....let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude,--the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan." --General John Logan, General Order No. 11, 5 May 1868