We’ve reached Memorial Day weekend for 2015. While Memorial Day has only been a holiday for about half the history of this country, looking back we’ve had men and women dying for our freedom for 240 years at this point. (Lexington and Concord were in April, 1775.)
What is Memorial Day about? It is, quite frankly, about the dead. Not about the living—those who served and returned are our focus on Veteran’s Day. Those who are serving are the focus of Armed Forces Day.
Today is about those who never returned. The genesis of Memorial Day truly connects to that, as it started with Decoration Day in the cemeteries of the war dead after the Civil War. The graves of both sides were respected (in most cases) and this gave rise to a day honoring those who died for the freedoms of this nation.
The resulting day has also become symbolic of many other things, but we should keep sight of this reality:
We are not free in this country by accident nor simply by luck. Neither are we free from future threats to our liberty.
We are free because men and women have given their lives to establish and defend that freedom. We are free because there are families, parents and spouses, children and grandchildren, who have lost their loved ones for us.
We owe a debt that we should remain very mindful of.