Sunday, May 27, 2007
Memorial Day 2007
Memorial Day means different things to different people. The holiday itself can be traced back to 1868 when “Decoration Day” was instituted as a day in which to decorate the graves of those who died in the Civil War. From those humble beginnings we now have the holiday that, among other things, signals the official start of summer.
It has always been a day to remember those brave individuals who gave the last full measure of devotion to their country on the battlefield. What began as a day where places like Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, and Gettysburg were mentioned today finds us trying to pronounce names like Fallujah, Khandahar, and Al Anbar. It is a day in which warriors will remember their fallen comrades.
I am a child of the United States Army. Father Cordeiro was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant shortly after I was born. For most of my childhood and a good chunk of my adolescent years if my address did not have the word “Fort”, “Presidio”, or “APO” in it, I did not feel like I was truly home. To me, the men and women of the United States Military have, and always will be, family.
This Memorial Day, like most others, will find many Americans enjoying this truly American holiday. Many hot dogs and burgers will be grilled, and the odd steak will be accidentally carbonized. While it is all together fitting and proper that these festivities take place, it should be remembered these events happen under the umbrella of freedom which has been purchased and defended at an exceedingly high price – often with the very best men and women this country has to offer.
So, dear reader, celebrate Memorial Day – but as you do, take time to remember those who made such a holiday possible.
Here endeth the lesson.