We have just experienced a holiday where we historically remember those who have lost their lives in the service of our country. This is also a day where our summer season of vacations is celebrated. Trips to the beach, family gatherings and other summer activities often dominate the focus of the holiday that is meant to remember those who have sacrificed for our country.
It is important to remember the impact of the losses that have occurred in the families of those who have given their lives. There are parents who have lost their sons and daughters, spouses who have lost their mates, children who have lost their parents and others who have been close to us who have also sacrificed their lives. For those families, there is a mix of loss, grief, gratitude and pride all culminating simultaneously this Memorial Day.
The very freedoms we celebrate in all the ways that we do were given to us by those who have gone before us and made significant sacrifices for these freedoms. We have a heritage of brave Americans who believed in our country and its values so fervently that they were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. They essentially died for the American dream that we all share today leaving us all the ability to enjoy a meaningful, safe and fulfilling life.
I believe that another distraction that has preoccupied us is the controversy, discord and dissonance that is so constant in our political systems, both domestically and internationally.
It seems that our country is polarized on issues that literally challenge the values of our democracy. Historically our country has and continues to celebrate our diversity and overcomes the challenges with ingenuity and strategies that would otherwise threaten our rights and freedoms that have been fought for so sacrificially.
More so we possess the power and capability to help those in need. I think of our children who are impoverished, the opioid crisis, rises in mental health problems, too many veteran deaths due to suicide, our broken education system and so much more. We have incredible challenges that now are not being addressed while we fight over certain polarized agendas. This is not the spirit of America that has brought our country to its greatness.
I think Memorial Day is a day of remembering a rich heritage of American freedom. It is one of our most important stewardships. I believe the best way to honor those who have sacrificed their lives so bravely is to create a country where we find strength in our diversity, compromise in our challenges, courage to fight for everyone’s freedoms and to be a people who care for those who are in need. We need to insist on their right and capacity to overcome their adversities and enjoy a safe and flourishing life. I believe these ideals honor our American values and those who died for them.