On Monday, crowds large and small turned out to remember veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
Memorial Day comes around once a year for those who remember it only because there’s a holiday. But for those who have lost a loved one to the horrors of war, the memories are present every day.
And while some have made note that the day is not a day for all veterans - rather just for those who died in service to our country - it seems a bit disingenuous to ignore those who are in harm’s way or are living today with physical or mental effects of their service.
Yes, we should remember the words of the order proclaiming Memorial Day on May 30, 1868: “What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead? We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security, is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”
But we must also remember that we are a nation at war and that those serving now deserve our thoughts year–round, not just on a holiday in May or one in November.