Memorial Day

Christopher Dion, MSgt, USAF (Retired)

 

On the last Monday in May, the bugle call is heard and the hearts of all Americans are called to formation, in order to render tokens of honor and appreciation to those who gave the last full measure. On this day we visit monuments of stone, metal, and marble that mark the final resting place of humans and furry warriors for whom the word hero was created. After the ceremonies are ended, the barbeques are then lit, families are gathered, and glasses are raised in order that we who live may honor their memory by clinging tighter to one another and tasting the sweetness of life that they can no longer enjoy.

This day is one of the most difficult of days for many. There are those that mourn the complacency that has infiltrated the life of America and led to her losing her sense of the sacredness of this day. There are those that mourn the dilution of American patriotism that these fallen warriors lived by, which has been caused by politics and protest. There are those that mourn the husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or child whose selfless service led them to be laid in ground hallowed by the blood they spilled. There is the living warrior who sheds tears that are seen and unseen, for the brother or sister that put on a uniform with them, but never returned to take it off again. For these and many more, Memorial Day carries with it a weight few can comprehend.

It falls upon us, who here remain, to stand for those who stood for us. It is imperative that we do not sit silent, but we must also not be vile in the volume of our sound. We must stand and speak and share their story. We must live a life that exemplifies the standard by which they lived and died. We must ensure that the next generation in our homes, schools, and communities are taught the price and value of their service. We must restore in America the patriotism we once held dear, the sense of history that we learned by, and we must renew a national knowledge of the documents and their basis upon which America was built.

We know that America, like the heroes for which Memorial Day exists, may be imperfect. However, no other nation has done as much to correct and rectify its errors. No other country has voluntarily spilt as much blood and treasure out on the altar of freedom and liberty. No other country has given as much in selfless service to lift all other ships to a higher level equal to their own. Finally, no other nation has as many heroes, buried in as many countries and territories, not owned by them and never intended to be owned by them, as this imperfect country. A country which began as an experiment based on principles of responsible freedom, equal opportunity, and individual liberty.

This Memorial Day, let us utilize the emotion raised by the memory of fallen warriors who never asked “Why me?”. Let us be inspired to do more, love more, live more, and serve more, that tomorrow our Nation will be one degree closer to the perfection we strive to achieve. May we ever remember that we are One Nation, Under God, indivisible and eternally indebted to those who sacrificed all.

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