“This is the day we pay homage to all those who didn’t come home. This is not Veterans Day, it’s not a celebration, it is a day of solemn contemplation over the cost of freedom.” (Tamara Bolton)
Memorial Day is the day we remember and honor those who died serving our country. It is a day of remembrance. For many, it is also a day of mourning.
For most people, Memorial Day weekend is just another three-day party. People stock up on food and liquor and celebrate. It is three days of party hearty. With a keen eye for saving, some shop the Memorial Day “sales,” stocking up on more useless crap. The dead are forgotten.
Memorial Day was not meant as a day of celebration, another three-day drunken maw stuffing weekend away from your toils. It was set aside as a day of commemoration. The day was set aside to remember that what we cherish most has a high cost. Whether it was defending our freedoms or defending the freedoms of others, our sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters paid a high price.
Count all the crosses and count all the tears
These are the losses and sad souvenirs;
This devastation once was a nation
So fall the dice, how high is the price
There in the distancе a flag I can see
Scorched and in ribbons but whose can it be;
How еnds the story, whose is the glory
Ask if we dare our comrades out there who sleep (A Soldiers Story/Ennio Morricone)
In our celebrations, we forget the cost of war. Death is the cost of war. Those who served in wars know this. We glorify past wars as righteous. Yet, those who served know the grim truth.
1,300,700 (+/-) members of the American military personnel perished in the War of Revolution through the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Statista). The Civil War was the deadliest from which Memorial Day originated (Decoration Day). Over 600,000 Union troops perished.
Before you throw those brats on the grill, stuff your pie hole with nachos, guzzle beer, or load your vehicle with sale items, you could take a minute to remember the reason for this holiday. Remember the fallen. Commemorate the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.
As an aside, Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade dates back to 1870.