Of Memorial and Remembrance

I have been hard-pressed not to editorialize over Memorial Day this year. Instead, let me say simply, it is a holiday with a disputed history, and an often misunderstood focus.
Currently, we designate the last Monday in May as Memorial Day.

For more than a century, that was not the case. It was celebrated on May 30, without regard for the day of the week. Now, the date changes annually, and the reason for the holiday is a bit obscure to many.

For people like me, there is no confusion. Memorial Day is not the unofficial first day of summer. It is not the day the swimming pools traditionally open and is not a celebration of all who served in the military.

It is the day we honor those who died in military service. It is the day to remember those making the ultimate sacrifice so you and I could swim, grill, look forward to sunburns and time at the lake. Happily, as with all issues of this nature, there are reasons to enjoy the holiday.

First, most people have a three-day weekend. A weekend that will let them take a break from reality and relax. Of course, for some this year, the Monday of a three day weekend is just another Monday. They’ve been on seven-day weekends since March. Still, it is a holiday weekend, and Monday morning is not necessarily a return to the grind morning.

For people like me, it is the beginning of time for remembering and honoring those we lost. It is also time to remember the cost of those losses. For me and some others, this time of remembrance lasts all week, or at least until the 30th.

One way to honor and remember those making the ultimate sacrifice is through music. Over the years, I’ve found several songs that do just that. Here, I want to share a song that may not have been written to memorialize fallen members of the armed services. Yet, in many ways, it does.[1]

As the song makes clear, we all live and die, and we should strive to live life to the fullest. Sadly, many of us fail to push the envelope and make memories that will stay with us to the end. Most of the men and women we celebrate and remember on Memorial Day lost their opportunity to sample all life has to offer.

If Memorial Day means more to you than hot dogs, beer and pool time, click the link below, and check back in later, there may be more to come.

Not Every Man Lives

[1] Watch the entire video. The Memorial Day connection takes a minute to show.

©oneoldcop.com Р2020

About S. Eric Jackson

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