Memorial Day is not Veterans Day or Armed Forces Day and veterans and active duty military will be the first to remind you of this. Memorial Day is set aside as a special day to honor and remember our nation’s real heroes.
Those heroes are American military men and women who sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom and ultimately for those who served next to them in the ranks.
Our heroes left behind rich and full lives. They left behind young widows and widowers. They left behind sons and daughters, parents and loved ones.
While you and I spend this Memorial Day at a ball game or barbecue others will spend it with the cherished memory of loved ones lost in defense of this great nation.
In reflecting on our war dead President Ronald Reagan offered an eloquent summation: “It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember.”
God bless our honored war dead and their families, friends, and loved ones. And may God bless America.