Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.”
Memorial Day is a day of reflection. A day that we look back at all of those who died in active combat for our freedoms that we hold today. Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May; this year it falls on May 28th.
I remember sitting in the crowded, hot gym on the last Monday of classes. Sweaty kids moaned and groaned about the heat and the upcoming finals. We all awaited the usual Memorial Day service put on by our high school band. When the band director strolled in, his military medals and uniform shining under the harsh lights, the crowd fell silent. Each year, he told us a different story of those who had died for our freedom.
But each year, no matter the story, there was a symbolic ting of the triangle/thump on the drum, followed by the band director shouting very deeply,
That single word would humble, sadden, and enlighten the crowd. We all would roam out of the gym after the final "Remember!" in a very melancholy mood. We shared knowing glances and hesitant smiles. Once again, our high school band had done exactly what they had set out to do, and that was to make us remember.
So, on this weekend of booze, barbecue and joy, let us think back to all of those who perished in service, so we can do exactly what "Memorial Day weekend" is 'all about'. Let us remember the 116,708 soldiers who died in WWWI, the 416,800 soldiers who died in WWWII, the 58,220 soldiers who died in the Vietnam war... and the countless others who lost their lives so that we could celebrate and have a little fun on the Memorial Day Weekend, and enjoy the freedoms given to us in the Constitution that they laid their lives down to protect.