It seems a little different this Memorial Day, doesn’t it?
To be fair, everything seems a little different this year, and everything will probably feel a little different into the foreseeable future. The Memorial Day crowds will not be as big this year, and many of our retail shops and the beaches are just now beginning to embrace the presence of others. Restaurants are still carry-out or delivery through the end of the month, and they will return with reduced seating capacity and smaller staffs.
And there will be a noticeable absence of Memorial Day events to honor and remember those who paid the ultimate price in defense of our nation. Numbers vary from source to source, but there have been approximately 1.3 million Americans who have given their lives from the Revolutionary War through current-day events.
This Memorial Day, with everything else going on around us, we ask you to take a few minutes to honor them. We understand that 1.3 million people is a lot to digest, and hard to focus on, so let’s focus on one. One life. One life with parents and friends. One life that might have had a spouse and children. One life that could have been your spouse, or your child, or your parent.
Or a stranger who gave his or her final breath in order to preserve or enhance a way of life in this social and economic experiment we call “America.” Since Americans tired of taxation without representation, and through the global uncertainty of today, men and women have taken the pledge to defend the United States Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
They have largely done so with honor and a sense of righteousness that should make each and every one of us thank those we memorialize on Monday. We thank them for what they gave. We thank them for what they stood for. And we thank them for every breath of freedom that powers our lungs.
Memorial Day is a solemn one, but also one of celebration. Today, we celebrate selfless heroes who got us this far.