A lot of things happen on Memorial Day every year. From parades and concerts, to car races and sports tournaments. Some businesses shut their doors in observation of the day, others hold massive sales. Some people visit cemeteries to leave remembrances for those who’ve died, others host barbeques, go camping or simply enjoy an extra day off with their families.
As the granddaughter of a man who lost his life in combat, I try to keep the purpose of this day in my mind every year, but it’s easy to lose track of what this day is supposed to mean in the chaos of our daily lives. This weekend, it’s completely understandable to be focused on boosting profits in your retail pharmacy with some holiday weekend sales, or trying to figure out if you had enough business last year to make it worth keeping the doors open.
However, many people would say that these decisions may only be ours to make because of the sacrifices of those we are supposed to honor on Memorial Day. I think this quote from the Wikipedia page on Memorial Day is an elegant reminder of why we take a day in remembrance.
“On Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all”
No matter how you observe Memorial Day, I hope you will take a moment on Monday to honor all of the men and women who’ve died in service to this country.