Did you know that Memorial Day (or Decoration Day, as it was originally called) was instituted to remember those who died fighting the Civil War? It wasn’t until after World War I that the focus of the holiday became remembering those who died in any US war.
I’ll admit that this day hasn’t hit close to him for me, none of my family falling into this category. And yet in my husband’s work this issue of remembering those who served and those who died has become very personal. For whether you realize it or not, many veterans memorials in the United States–those physical reminders that we can see and show to our children on any day, not just Memorial Day–are under attack. Why? Because many use the imagery of the cross, which is the imagery of ultimate sacrifice. (Want some examples? Check out these stories on the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial, the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial, the Coos Bay Vietnam Veterans Memorial.)
It’s a shameful situation, really. After all, so many of those monuments, decades and even centuries old, were designed by the families and comrades of those they honor. Others now seek to alter them, which would alter our history and disrespect former generations and their sacrifice. My husband and his staff work hard to see that this doesn’t happen.
In the meanwhile, we all stop today and remember that America is free because of the price that was paid to protect her. When we remember, we honor not just those who lost their lives, but also their loved ones who sacrificed the years they could have had with a husband, brother, son, with a wife, sister, and daughter.
Thank you, veterans, for your service. May we always remember and respect your sacrifice.