Sunday, May 30, 2010
Memorial Day has a special meaning to those who served and to American Patriots. It is a meaning that needs to be shared, since for too many, Memorial Day is about BBQs, Indy, NASCAR, and the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship.
Memorial Day is about honoring those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It is about those men and women who, in future wars, will make that same sacrifice. The third verse of America the Beautiful captures this powerful sentiment:
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
Memorial Day is about those men and women who lie in unmarked graves at places near Monmouth and Guilford Courthouse. It is about those men and women who lie at the Mexico City National Cemetery and on the hallowed grounds of Arlington. It is about those men and women who find rest far from our shores in the Philippines, Panama and Tunisia. Who find rest in the Old Country at places like Normandy, Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, and Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial. It is about those men and women, our honored dead, who rest across America in cemeteries and veterans' parks. The American Battle Monuments Commission oversees these resting places, these hallowed pieces of America throughout the world, places worthy of our time and attention.
Abraham Lincoln understood and eloquently expressed this honor given to our fallen:
The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart. . .should swell into a mighty chorus of remembrance, gratitude and rededication on this solemn occasion.
Please take a little time this Memorial Day to honor them. And then, enjoy the BBQ and other activities. But, please, honor them and give them pause.
Please also participate in The National Moment of Remembrance:
The National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, asks Americans wherever they are at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day to pause in an act of national unity (duration: one minute).The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday. The Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events; rather it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who died for our freedom. It will help to reclaim Memorial Day as the sacred and noble holiday it was meant to be. In this shared remembrance, we connect as Americans.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Wherever you are, observe the Moment at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day. Ask others to remember—relatives, friends, church, neighborhood, or co-workers to observe the Moment at places such as your neighborhood, local pool, picnic grounds, etc., for one minute of Remembrance. Participation can be informal as ringing a bell three times to signify the Moment.
To provide a time of Remembrance for America’s fallen and to make a commitment to give something back to our country in their memory.To have Americans participate in an act of national unity and demonstrate gratitude and respect for those who died for freedom since the founding of our Nation.To provide a sense of history to our citizens and ensure that younger generations understand the sacrifices made to preserve our liberties.