Over the last few years, I had lost track of the reason behind Memorial Day. If anyone asked me what it was for, I wouldn’t be sure. For a number of years, I went to a conference at Seabrook Island, and spent Memorial Day touring Charleston. In recent years, I spent Memorial Day sleeping in, recovering from a large conference weekend at the camp where I worked. If I were lucky, I went to a picnic that day, but I was rarely that lucky.
This year, I’m in Australia for Memorial Day, where they don’t celebrate it… or if they have their own Memorial Day, I don’t know what day it’s on. Being here, unable to attend picnics and such, instead, I find myself reading about Memorial Day, as picnics don’t translate well onto paper. Learning about why it was created, how it started out as Decoration Day, after the Civil War. I’ve been reading about the men and women who’ve given their lives for our country, from the War Between the States, until now. About how these men and women loved their country enough to sacrifice their lives, in order that the rest of us can continue to be free.
I find myself unable to put together the right words… words to describe the soldiers that have given their lives. Given their lives for their country, and so many times, received no thanks. These are the real American heroes, that we should tell our children about, that they can know what true heroism and true sacrifice are.
To the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present, what I say will never be enough, but… thank you.