Monday, May 21, 2012

Some Gave All...

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. A time for families to grill out and have fun in the sun. In my neck of the woods, in Northwest Indiana where it’s not warm all year round, it means the official opening of beaches and public pools. And let's not forget the Monday off. Though the actual date of Memorial Day is May 30th, the powers that be decided to turn it into a three-day holiday weekend with the National Holiday Act of 1971. But how many Americans truly focus on the actual holiday? How many even know the real reason for it? Not enough in my opinion.

Memorial Day was meant to be special day. One set aside to remember, mourn and pay respect to the soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice ensuring our freedoms. Its purpose is to honor those who lost their lives defending this country and its citizens. Yet year after year, the true reason slips further into the background. Instead, we use it as a reason to get together for a long weekend of grilling, drinking and partying and to celebrate the beginning of summer. When did this happen? And why? Why is it that each passing generation seems to care less and have less pride in our country?

I know we are in a recession. I realize our nation is having some major growing pains right now. But we still live in America, the greatest country in the world, and I for one am proud. We all should be proud. We are lucky enough to live in a country where we have as many rights as we do. And we should be grateful to the soldiers who fought for those freedoms. We need to do more to show our thankfulness to their families for their sacrifices as well.

Back in the 90’s Billy Ray Cyrus sang a song that sums up what I am trying to say perfectly. “Love your country and live with pride and don’t forget those who died. America can’t you see, all gave some and some gave all. Some stood through for the red, white and blue and some had to fall. So if you ever think of me, think of all your liberties and recall, some gave all.”

We need to work on bringing the true meaning of this holiday back. While we are enjoying our picnics and partying, let us take some time to talk to our kids about what we have thanks to these fallen soldiers. Let’s participate in a National Moment of Remembrance where, on May 30th at 3pm your local time, everyone pauses and and has a moment of silence for those who died. And we need to have pride. Pride in our country and our soldiers who were willing to give all to protect us. I’m just sayin’.

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