Monday, May 25, Memorial Day, is a time of – and for – solemnity to honor our distinguished fallen “heroes.” A “hero,” in this sense, is any member of the Armed Services valiantly executing his (or her) duties, sometimes wondering “why;” for, at times, it seemed so foolish, so worthless, and so wasteful. But the courageous Service Member performed, sometimes at the cost of his (or her) own life.
For over 150 years, since 1868, Memorial Day has been a day set aside to commemorate those who died serving our nation. Let us remember our history, reflect on our present, and let us maintain a vigilant eye on the future so that the thousands of Americans – the select few – who have served shall never be forgotten for their hardships and sacrifices. Their sacrifices have allowed, and shall continue to allow, so many to achieve goals, pursue opportunities, and to turn dreams into realities. Indeed, as Sir Winston Churchill once noted, “Never before have so many owed so much to so few.”
Over the years, we have managed to corrupt this day of reverence into just another Monday holiday: The “start” of the summer season, a day at the beach or ballpark, the cookout with family, friends, and neighbors, or a day at the shopping mall. Sadly, we tend to take for granted the ultimate sacrifices that brave individuals have made to preserve those endearing and enduring freedoms and liberties that all of us enjoy.
As we enjoy Memorial Day with family, friends, and neighbors, let us take a moment to remember the reason for this solemn day. On Memorial Day, we honor the men and women of the Armed Services who sacrificed their lives so that we may continue to enjoy the blessings of liberty and continue to live in freedom.
General George Patton said, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.” A grateful nation humbly thanks the Almighty that such individuals had lived. Their bravery, their courage, their devotion to duty, and their ultimate sacrifices shall always be remembered and honored across this great state, this great nation; and, most importantly, in our minds, our souls and our hearts.
John Di Genio