At the heart of the day, we are to remember and honor those men and women who freely gave up their lives, who made that ultimate sacrifice, so that we could enjoy political and physical freedom. We are to remember their willingness and their courage.
But we also need to remember those left behind: their mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, sisters and brothers, children, and fellow comrades. These are the wounded.
As Americans, we also choose this time to honor those who have served or who are currently serving. As one quote says, we are the “home of the free because of the brave.”
Below are a few other quotes that I feel reach to the heart of the weekend.
"It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle." — H. Norman Schwarzkopf
"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die." --G.K. Chesterton
"Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops, and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well." —Jennifer M. Granholm (47th governor of Michigan)
"Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices." —President Harry S. Truman
Below are links to two of my favorite musical selections. The first is a medley of the Armed Forces Anthem. The second is Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be an American.”
May you have a relaxing Memorial Day Weekend with friends and family and as FDR said about the attack on Pearl Harbor, may we also say about those who have died in service to our country: “May we never forget.”