As I sit here writing these lines, trying to put into words the deep gratitude and sorrow I feel for all the lives sacrificed in our history and all the lives of our service men and women currently in harm's way, I am humbled.
How many lives have we lost too early? What could they have been had they lived? What would our world be like had they not been sacrificed?
I am reminded of the line from Edmund Burke:
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
Memorial Day is set aside to honor those who've fallen in the service of our country, but it is also a time for us, the beneficiaries of that sacrifice, to ensure that we (individually and as a country) are living up to the high ideals that are being defended. By raising the bar we ensure that their deaths were not in vain, and in so doing reduce the necessity for future sacrifice.
We would not seek a battle, as we are;
Nor, as we are, we say we will not shun it:
So tell your master.
- Shakespeare Henry V Act III, scene VI.
How do you honor Memorial Day?
As a proud veteran, I spend the day at home with my wife enjoying a day of peace. Light the BBQ, play fetch with my dogs, soak up the overcast sky, and read a little BE. I cannot think of a better way to honor the sacrifice made than to bask in the freedom they've provided. Raise a glass with me and tell of your Memorial Day.