Memorial Day—what does that mean? How should we feel, act, and respond? Over 200 years ago, when the first shots were fired, when the first Militiaman fell to the cool earth that would soon erupt in the hail of bullets and cannon fire, when the “shot heard round the world” left the dark, steel barrel of its owner’s musket, the world was forever changed.
Since that fateful day, American service members have been standing up to tyranny and oppression at home and around the world. They led the charge up San Juan Hill, through the forests, valleys, deserts and mountains. The American military mervice member stands tall and has endured much.
But the price has been no giveaway and the tally of dead is long. Those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, to lay down their lives for their fellow brethren, will continue to grow as the years go by.
So the 24 hours that this nation has set aside is a time to create a memorial of your own choosing—in your heart, soul and mind—with your friends, family, organization. Create it with your own hands if you so choose, make it big, keep it small, it’s your time to reflect as you choose.
Whether it’s in a chapel, at the VA, in front of a monument, at a battlefield or raising a cold one around a backyard or campground barbecue, we should be proud and respectful, humbled and grateful, thoughtful and honored to and for those who wrote Uncle Sam a blank check, payable with their lives in service to us all.
Memorial Day is to honor those who have died in service while in the greatest military in the history of the earth. In November, we will have 24 more hours to do the same for those who are still alive and serving or who have served. It will be grand and we will have a huge parade this year. It is already being planned by this office. It will be your opportunity to say thank you to our current veterans and be a part of history.
Michael Houser is the Grant County veterans services officer.