What Memorial Day Really Means
Today we celebrate the heroes who performed the ultimate sacrifice for us – the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom. Their courage, their bravery, and their honor stand as a testament to what makes the United States of America the greatest nation the world has ever seen. The design of their character is something that we – as everyday American citizens – may never come to truly understand.
And while Memorial Day is a day for us to pay respect to our valiant volunteers, I don’t think we have even begun to comprehend exactly what that respect should entail.
Every day, we say things to other Americans like:
“You’re a bigot.”
“Because you think that way, you’re an idiot.”
We sling mud, we throw rocks, we genuinely try to hurt people because of who they support or how they think. We try to tear each other down for things we disagree with. We spend much more of our time trying to destroy each other than we do trying to understand each other.
Certainly, our servicemen and women sacrificed their lives for our right to free speech; to express our opinion; for the right to choose; for the right to disagree; for the right to protest.
But they didn’t sacrifice their lives for one view; for one opinion; for the right to make one choice; for the fear of retribution for a different opinion; for violent protests.
They gave themselves for all of us – free of color; free of race; free of political leaning.
We don’t have to agree with other opinions or political views, but if we are truly to respect the honor of the lives that were given for our freedom, we damn well better start treating each other with some respect. Those “other people” and their opinions and passions are just as much of what was cashed in as you and yours are. Our men and women died for them too.
So, on this Memorial Day, on the next Memorial Day, on every Memorial Day – as well as every day in between – it’s time to show true reverence to our fallen, their lives and their sacrifice by softening our hearts, being compassionate, and finding a way to love and respect, even when we completely disagree.
Because I’m telling you, those courageous men and women had to have loved all of us – had to have wanted for all of us – to be able to have done what they did.
And I can think of no greater way to honor them.