Take a moment today to remember those we honor this Memorial Day.
Those names you hear in a roll call or see engraved on a monument, those headstones in seemingly endless rows at Arlington, Gettysburg or Normandy are not forgotten soldiers, they are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives. They are the people who, while not all heroes in the traditional sense, accepted the responsibility and did their duty with the ultimate sacrifice.
I was walking in the woods at a state park in Brewster, Massachusetts a few years back and looking up a small hill I thought I saw an American flag. I walked to the spot to find a roughly outlined grave mostly covered in leaves. There was a small flag and a tiny well-worn headstone that read “Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier.” I stood there thinking about this unknown person and imagined how he came to this place so removed from any grand memorial. Strangely I think of this grave every Memorial Day and I am glad that somebody cared enough to honor his memory.
Fly your flag, show dignity and respect as their names are read, remove that baseball cap as the flag and veterans march by, sing the words of the national anthem. Explain to your children what this all means and why it matters.
Pray that someday this endless list of fallen soldiers has no more names added to it.
It’s the least we can do.