Memorial Day – A Day to Remember
It’s Memorial Day, a day designed as a day to remember those who lost there life in military service for the United States. All of us likely have someone, somewhere in their family tree who made the ultimate sacrifice during war. For me, my great Uncle Tony was killed in World War II. I, of course, only know him from pictures and stories. The intention for today is to remember those people and they certainly should be remembered.
However, during my lifetime, as experience with wars with large numbers of dead grow fainter and fainter in our collective memory, this holiday becomes more and more about the start of summer. Sure, we fly some flags and have some parades. War movie marathons play on cable TV, we see a lot of John Wayne on Memorial Day weekend. Some people, painfully have recent and raw memories of loved ones who have died in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The veterans of those wars and their families, are still very much in the depths of remembrance that this day was intended to bring forth.
This year, much like after 9/11, a group other than the military is being lauded for the sacrifices they are making on our behalf. Front line healthcare workers are becoming ill and losing their lives while trying to save others during the coronavirus pandemic. People have also recognized that people like meat packers, grocery store workers and other retail workers have been in a somewhat similar position. All of those who have lost their life this year from coronavirus, who got ill in the service of others, deserve to be remembered.
For this year, that’s enough of an addition. But long-term I want to change the purpose of this holiday. Not in anyway to diminish the sacrifice of our military dead, but to increase our recognition of all of the others who lose their life sacrificing for others. But let’s not stop there, as well, I think there is more than enough space on this one designated day of remembrance each year for us to take some time to remember those who have sacrificed in any way to make our lives better.
A day to remember the sacrifice of parents, caregivers, grandparents, friends, even kind strangers who made a difference. For me personally I can include a parent, grandparents, other blood relatives and friends on the list of those people. Hopefully in remembering, we’ll all be more likely to do that for someone else in their times of need.
Today, take a moment to think about anyone, who in your life has sacrificed on your behalf, to help you live a better life and have happier days my friends. ~ Rev Kane