Hope you all don’t mind, but we’re taking a holiday ourselves today by repeating an editorial we published last year at this time. It seems to have stood the test of time, so ... Wait! Yes, it bears repeating, but this is not a normal Memorial Day weekend at all, now is it?
OK, let’s take a look at what we’ve shared the past several years during this weekend and, where needed, add some parenthetic editing:
Burgers and dogs? Check.
Charcoal and lighter fluid? Check.
Paper plates, cups? Check.
Chips and drinks? Check.
Pool cleaned, floats inflated? Check.
U.S. flag flying? Uh, hmmm.
Taking time to think of and thank our country’s fallen soldiers? Uh, hmmm.
That’s right, there’s more to your Memorial Day checklist than a long weekend filled with pool parties (please, family only, and only if you’ve been together since this pandemic hit), outdoor grilling and shopping those special sales (only if you really need to and only if you’re applying all the rules and regs of safe distancing, mask wearing). They are, after all, the reason we have Memorial Day. It is a day set aside to remember America’s fallen soldiers, the very people who fought for and maintained our freedom that gives us the opportunity to freely grill, relax by the pool and yes, even enjoy sales at retail stores.
Now don’t beat yourselves up. Fact is, our soldiers are long accustomed to the rest of us taking things in stride, taking for granted the freedoms we have, the relative safety we enjoy within our borders.
But if you have not done so already, please take some time out of your schedule today to remember those soldiers who laid down their lives for all of us. (You really should be more reflective about your freedoms right now and see that even if you’re not a soldier, you too have to make some sacrifices for the good of the whole in maintaining our freedoms.)
The men and women who have faced our country’s enemies and given their lives in doing so deserve our thanks, our gratitude, our respect, as do their families. They deserve to be honored today and every day because this day, this long weekend in fact, can only be attributed to those who served and died for their country.
So yes, enjoy the day and the rest of the long weekend it provided you, and be thankful, grateful (and safe). While you’re at it, if you’re the praying sort, offer up a special prayer today or tonight for those currently serving in the armed forces. Pray for their safety, pray for their families (and pray for everyone’s general health and safety during this pandemic).