Memorial Day

May 22, 2013

Memorial Day will soon be upon us. It is often said that we celebrate Memorial Day, but in fact the day is a time for remembrance and reflection.

Certainly there are parades, picnics and parties, but the day should be solemn in nature as we honor the men and women who gave their lives to protect this country and what it stands for.

This is a day when each and every one of us should say a silent prayer for the fallen – those thousands and thousands of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice so that you and I can live in peace, secure in our homes and living a life that is the envy of the world.

Because Memorial Day is a national holiday, most of us will sleep a little longer, plant those flowers in the garden, and enjoy a cold one on the deck. But we need to take a moment of this down time to remember those who will never have the opportunity to enjoy this day.

Most families in this country know someone – relative or friend – who has been touched by war. Our cemeteries are filled with the tombstones of those who have died in battle. Whether World War II, the Korean War,Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan, brave soldiers have given their lives as they served this nation.

The least we can do, the living and the secure, is to take a moment of our day and reflect on their sacrifice, perhaps holding our hand to our heart or giving a firm salute and thanking those who died for us in a faraway country.

It is often said that war is hell and those that make it back from war will always be touched by the hell they experienced. But for those who did not return from war, it is up to us the living to never forget their service, their bravery, their patriotism.

This Memorial Day let us remember the fallen and honor them with our prayers and our quiet thanks. This country would not be what it is today without their service and their sacrifice.

Memorial Day

May 21, 2012

Since the Civil War over 33,000 men and women with ties to Massachusetts have died in battle or while on active duty. By any measure that is a number that shows the enormity of war and the toll it takes on those who serve.

33,000 soldiers giving their life for their country; 33,000 soldiers never having the opportunity to live out their lives; 33,000 soldiers never seeing their loved ones again.

Memorial Day is coming and in many respects it is a day of both celebration and sadness as we Americans take the time to remember the sacrifice of these men and women.

Although celebrate may seem like the wrong word to use, it indeed captures what we the living, the free, the safe should feel for the contributions of these citizen soldiers. We live a good life because of them, so we should celebrate our good fortune because of what they did to make this country what it is today. Without their sense of duty and patriotism, the United States would certainly be a much different country.

Of course those who lost a loved one during any of these wars will feel a deep sadness over their loss; it is impossible to forget a loved one who is no longer part of a family as a father, mother, husband, wife, son or daughter.

So as we prepare for Memorial Day we should celebrate these brave heroes with parades, visits to cemeteries,and certainly with many, many American flags. But on this national holiday it is important not to forget that this is a day also of sadness for these men and women who gave their lives for a higher cause, for the good of their beloved nation, for us. They died honorably in defense of liberty; they are the epitome of what it is to be an American.

It is incumbent upon all of us not to forget these soldiers. Yes we should celebrate their service, their gift to us, but in that celebration we should remember that with that gift came sadness and left a huge void that can never be filled.

Thanks to all the fallen. May all of us in Massachusetts celebrate and honor their sacrifice.