Across the United States today people are remembering all of those who have sacrificed their lives to keep us safe. They have gone to war in the fight for freedom and the end of tyranny. They heard the call and answered, knowing the risk, but going anyway. There will be parades, visits to cemeteries, and family gatherings as people remember those they knew as well as those they didn’t know who died so that we could be safe in our homes and on our streets.
Originally known as Decoration Day, the modern Memorial Day was started after the Civil War to remember the Union and Confederate soldiers who had died during that war. During the last century, it was expanded to include all military personnel who died while serving their country, and with so many wars in the 20th Century there were many to honor. Celebrated on the final Monday of May, Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veteran’s Day, which honors all military personnel. Both, however, are important, well-deserved holidays.
For most of us, we’ll go through our days without much thought to those we owe a debt of gratitude to. We’ll work, play, shop, and sleep. We’ll go to school, get married, have babies and grow old because others will no longer have that opportunity. Our families are untouched because others were touched forever in a traumatic way. You can have it all because other men and women gave their all.
This Mess is not about anything funny or cute, but it is a reminder to my readers to make the most of their lives. You owe it to those who gave theirs to be all that you can be. Reach for your dreams, hug those you love, and live your life to its fullest. Make your life one giant Thank You to those who never returned home. It’s the least we can do.
So, today I give you permission to step away from your desk and computer. Go outside with your family and friends and make the most of this day. And then determine to make the most of each and every day, thereafter. Don’t allow our soldiers’ sacrifice to be in vain. Live a life of gratitude.
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