Memorial Day is not about hamurgers.
Memorial Day is not about cookouts, picnics, or the unofficial beginning of summer.
I am a combat veteran. I am certain to be thanked for my service and welcomed home may times this week end. I will politely acknowledge the good wishes, but Memorial Day is not about me.
Memorial Day is a day of remembering. It's about holding in solemn remembrance the soldiers, sailors, airman, marines and coast guardsmen who gave thieir lives fighting for this nation. It's about remembering their names and faces -- Tim, and Mark, Dusty, Dexter, and Fred from my war. It's about remembering brothers, sisters, fathers, uncles and cousins who went to war and never returned. It's about remembering those interred in military cemeterys here and overses, those resting in quiet church yards, and whose resting places remain known only to God. Some have their names carved in stone. Others' names are lost to human memory. Yet we must remember.
We remember we owe them a debt. We owe it; we cannot pay it. How can those who live repay those who are not?
We pay our debt by remembering. Abraham Lincoln said it best in late 1864 in Gettysburg, PA when he urged that
"...from these honored dead, we take increased devotion to which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation under God might have a new birth in freedom, that nation of the people, by the people and for the people should not perish from the earth."
This week end, remember those who died making our freedom possible. Thank them for that freedom. Then, enjoy your hamburger. Enjoy your picnic. Enjoy the time with your family.
Enjoy your liberty, for it cost much.
Remember, and give thanks.
Who and what will you remember this memorial day?