What Memorial day is really about

The other day on the path in the woods behind my house, I ran into a neighbor friend.

We started talking about the different memorials that were happening over the weekend and on Memorial day.

Many of them were focused on honoring the nearly 100,000 lives lost so far in the U.S. to COVID-19.

But let's not forget what this day is really about.

(Oddly, even my neighbor friend, a well-educated lawyer, wasn't sure what it was actually about).

Memorial day is about honoring those who lost their lives in service to this country.

(Veterans day, celebrated in November, in about honoring all military veterans--living or dead).

Tomorrow, we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

And while the nearly 100,000 victims of COVID-19 are worth honoring and remembering as well, let's do that another day.

Let's keep Memorial day focused on those who came before this tragic chapter in Americans' lives...and are still dying in service to our country today as we speak.

Just like every year, we've been flying the American flag on our front porch all weekend in honor of Memorial day here at home.

And while we won't be making a visit like we've done in the past to nearby Arlington National Cemetery, I'll be keeping in mind the lost loved ones of so many who've helped safeguard the freedoms we take for granted.

Including my own great-grandfather, who lost his life six months after sustaining injuries as the officer on deck when the Battleship Maine went down in Havana harbor. His name is emblazoned at the top of the Battleship Maine memorial in Arlington National Cemetery...

It took decades for my great-grandfather's story about what really caused the explosion on board the ship to be validated (that's another story for another time). And 100 years after the fact, he and his descendants were honored at a special event at the U.S. Naval Academy, which my family and I attended.

So yes, let's not forget about the tens of thousands who are fighting right now like warriors for their lives in the battle against COVID-19...and keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

But let's do keep in the forefront of our minds, as Americans, what Memorial day is all about...

Yours for smarter marketing,


P.S. On a visit with my family 10 years ago to Arlington National Cemetery, I happened to turn around and saw my two children spontaneously saluting the graves of thousands of soldiers.

It was so moving...and I was proud they were moved to honor them in this way. It's a reminder to be grateful for your freedoms, because without these brave veterans' sacrifices, who knows where we'd be today...

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