I remember when May 30th was called Decoration Day. After the War Between the States, people honored the dead from that war by placing flowers on their graves. Back then, it was a specific day for honoring the war dead, and over the years, as wars came and went, more dead were honored. It became Memorial Day; not the Observed Memorial Day that extended the last weekend of the month so that we could all barbecue, open public swimming pools, buy something on sale, work in our yards, or just have a reason to display a flag in front of our houses.
I'm certain that not everyone who gave their life did so willingly, but they wouldn't have been in that circumstance had they not been serving their country. All who lost their lives did so while doing a nasty job that I would wager most did not want to do, but had to do, whether enlisted or drafted.
I hate war.
I hate the consequences.
But I love freedom.
I love the freedom that Americans have; more expansive than any other nation that has ever existed on this earth. Today, and every day, I am grateful for those who were put in the position where their lives were taken in order to secure my freedom and the freedom of others whose freedom was in jeopardy.
Most of us will die having lived "ordinary" lives, doing nothing so gallant. I'm in awe of these people, and it is fitting that we set aside some time to reflect on their sacrifices.
Congress asks us to have a moment of remembrance at 3pm on the day that Memorial Day is observed, to reflect on this very subject. They chose this time because most Americans will be gathered with friends and family at that hour, so they thought it appropriate that everyone stop their activities, and focus on those in military service who gave their lives during a time of war.
I want all of my friends to have a great day, but I hope you will take time to think about all you have, and about those who paid the ultimate price for you.