Memorial Day Is Anything But A Holiday

Gretchen Hamel,

 This Memorial Day, in-between the water balloon fights at the backyard BBQs and roasting of marshmallows around the camp fire, it’s important to remember what this day is really about. Of course it is great if you are lucky enough get off from work to spend time with family. It the unofficial start of summer and for so many it’s a day of fun and celebration. But the day also has a somber meaning that we as Americans just cannot ignore.

It’s a time to remember those brave men and women who fought and died in every American war. From the American Revolution to the Korean War to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. From Desert Storm to WWll, and everything in-between, each of these sacrifices hold the same importance and meaning. It’s because our troops have been willing to lay down their lives to protect our freedoms that we can even enjoy a beautiful day at the beach with the ones we hold dear.


As we take time to remember those who gave all for our country, we cannot forget our troops who are still fighting for that freedom every day and carry on the legacy of honor as so many before them. We have the greatest military on earth. And that is not because we have the best tanks or state of the art technology. It is simply because the Americans who defend our flag are some of the most honorable and outstanding people on earth. They stormed the beaches of Normandy and volunteered to fight after 9/11. Those who are strong enough to put on the uniform are never one to sit back and watch another country take the lead. The American military has always been the first line of defense against tyranny.

Our military men and women put their lives on the line and so often get overlooked in the Political bickering here at home. As long as there are troops abroad and here at home we must always be vigilant of their sacrifice. We ought to always strive to protect them and give them what the need to get the job done as well as welcome them home with open arms and needed resources. Memorial Day is not only a time to reflect on those brave men and women who have fought, and died for our freedoms but also a time to ask the tough questions on behalf of those who still fight. Do they have much needed resources while in the field? Have we cleaned up the VA so that our troops have access to quality care when they return?

Today we should look out over the rolling green hills of Arlington National Cemetery and take a step back to see exactly what the price of freedom is. As we watch the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier we should also think about all the families here at home who have made sacrifices as well. Many Americans can look to their own families to see the face of Memorial Day. I think of my own grandfather who fought so bravely in WWll. Many of us know someone who is a veteran or an active service member. Let us thank them this Memorial Day and continue to thank them every day.

Americans enjoy more freedoms than perhaps anyone in the world and so often we take them for granted. When a day like today comes around we must treat it with the respect and gravity it deserves because it is the least we can do for those who have given so much.

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