fbpx Skip to content
Become a living memorial for those who gave all.

“Here men endured that a nation might live.” -Herbert Hoover

Although all of us will enjoy celebrating the federal holiday of Memorial Day today, many of us may not know the origin of it. Understanding it reminds us not only of the profound sacrifice others made for our country in the past, but stokes within us greater gratitude for the blessings we have in the present.

Memorial Day began in 1868 with the General of the Grand Army of the Republic ordering one day set aside to remember the unimaginable sacrifices of Civil War soldiers. Specifically, it sought to honor the more than 600,000 soldiers who died for their country.

On May 30, 1868, volunteers in Arlington National Cemetery placed flowers at the gravesites where thousands were buried during the Civil War. 154 years later, that tradition continues with graves in Arlington and around the county adorned with flags and flowers.

Although intended to honor the dead, Memorial Day also serves as a challenge for the living to continue the fight.

This day demands we not take our lives, our freedoms, or our country for granted. It is not just a day off to barbeque or toss candy at a parade. It’s not merely a day ushering in the opening of pools around the country. And it’s not just a signpost that school is ending and summer beginning.

What made all those beloved rhythms and rituals possible was the incredible, selfless service of generations of soldiers who sacrificed their lives for ours.

It’s a fight that is hundreds of years old.

And it’s a fight that continues today – just ask the hundreds of thousands of families that have a son, daughter, sister, brother, mom, or dad currently serving.

So how do we properly memorialize the past and celebrate the present?

My friends, on this day we celebrate those who gave their lives for their nation, let’s pause to lift them up in our prayers today.

Let’s enjoy the barbeques, parades, pools and start of summer.

But most importantly, let’s also collectively strive to live with such selflessness, gratitude and love as to justify the sacrifices of previous generations.

There would be no greater living memorial than that.

Today is your day. Live inspired.

6 replies on “A Memorial Day Challenge”

The National Moment of Remembrance occurs at 3pm local time each Memorial Day. At 3pm, pause with your family and friends for one minute of silence to remember the fallen who gave their lives so that we might live in freedom. You may also hear a bugler in the distance playing taps at the same time. Taps Across America is a national movement to honor our fallen during the National Moment of Remembrance.

I would often ask my son who was a SPC in the Army if if bothered him that his peers did not also step up to serve. He said “no, what bothers me is if they don’t move forward with their lives and make something of their talents”.
In honor of SPC. Keenan Cooper KIA July 5, 2010 Afghanistan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *