Monday is Memorial Day, a day we honor the men and women who died in military service. Are you remembering someone who died while defending our country? At Veteran’s Memorial Park in downtown Pensacola the names of those who died in the Vietnam War are inscribed on the Wall South. There are other memorials and statues in the park in honor and remembrance of the men and women who have died in other wars… too many wars.
We’ve been through battles of sorts in this country in the past year. While not equating those battles to the horror of war, we have been in some serious fights. We’ve battled Covid-19 and all that goes with it. We’ve battled economic distress, social injustice, social unrest. Sometimes, we’ve battled each other.
It’s a very good thing to remember those who’ve died in military battles, on Memorial Day and every day. It’s good to visit gravesites, and memorials. But maybe this year, after all that we’ve been through as a country, we can do even more. Maybe this year, we can also honor the memories of those who died trying to make the world a better place by… well, trying to make the world a better place.
We don’t have to enlist in the military to do that. We can just be better humans. We can smile more and gripe less. We can be kind instead of self-centered… or cruel. We can give… instead of always grabbing for more. We can look for people who are hurting and try to help them heal. We can be careful with what we say and how we say it. We can stop complaining and begin looking for peaceful solutions. We can pray and then put feet to our faith.
To all the heroes whose names and lives will be remembered this Memorial Day… thank you. May we be better and live better in memory and honor of your sacrifice.
By the way, Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day, because on this day, people would decorate the graves of their loved ones who died in service. Each year on Memorial Day, a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 PM local time.