Memorial Day Weekend, a time to head to the beach, fire up the grill, take in a parade or some other gala pageantry while gathering with family and friends.
Memorial Day carries significance to many – the opening day of summer, a well-earned paid holiday and to some a day to take advantage of retail sales.
I admit that I too have been consumed by the sometimes misguide revelry of this weekend and yes I’ll be heading Downy Oshun in about 90 minutes with my wife to kick off summer with some friends.
Yet this Memorial Day Weekend, I feel a sense of humility that has somehow escaped me in the past. I’m more reflective, gathering in my mind the red letter days and events that have taken place since we launched the 2009 summer season one year ago. I even thought of Steve McNair and where I was when I heard the news on July 4, 2009.
Perhaps it’s the incredibly challenging journey through the rocky roads of cancer that a dear friend is now battling that has guided my glance towards the rearview mirror. Maybe it’s the potential struggles ahead for my Pop that have pushed me into a state of reflection. It could even be my next birthday, number 50 that has me strolling down memory lane and assessing where I am in life today.
It could be all of the above and then some yet the reminiscent pause feels right, it feels healthy and it leaves me with a greater sense of appreciation for what I have as opposed to a sense of unfulfilled hope, a byproduct of failing to achieve what I want instead of wanting and enjoying what I’ve got.
So as I think of my friend and my Dad and Father Time, this weekend has become a day of remembrance and thanks.
You know I read somewhere recently that if you earn $20,000 or more annually that you are among the top 5% wealthiest people in the world. Think about that for a moment.
Where does $20,000 put you in our society?
Far from the top of the food chain, eh?
But when compared to others who live in far reaching corners of the globe, we’ve all got it made. The United States of America is a free platform for us Americans to pursue our dreams and that platform was made possible by the millions of soldiers, past and present who lost or risked or continue to risk their lives to provide our communal freedom.
And all that these selfless men and women want in return is for us to take a moment to remember and say thank you.
I hope that you do.
I know the next time I see a soldier I will stop him or her, extend my hand, look them sincerely in the eye and express my appreciation. In fact I can’t wait for that opportunity.
Thank you so much to all members of the armed forces, who donned those wonderful colors past, present and future. Thank you to their families who have also made sacrifices and suffered tremendous losses.
I hope today that your country collectively remembers and gives Memorial Day its proper meaning.