As we head towards Memorial Day 2022, we again take our time to reflect on the sacrifices of those who died while in the service of the United States armed forces. The writer Joseph Campbell described a hero as “someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”
Service for Freedom
Those who serve in the United States armed forces do so to preserve our freedom. This freedom allows us to live our lives in safety, according to our values, our laws, and the common good. This freedom is not free. It comes at a cost. For our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters in the armed forces, it is too often paid for with their lives.
The loss of the life of even one member of our armed forces is a tragedy, and we must ensure that this tragedy has meaning and honor it in a meaningful way.
How To Honor Service.
Say Thank You. The simplest way to honor those who have served is to say thank you. Some heartfelt words of thanks can make them feel proud of their service and know that it had meaning for others.
Show Your Thanks. Of course, we cannot say thank you to those that have died in service, but we can pay it forward to others. We can find ways to volunteer and serve the families of those left behind, those who were injured, or veterans who need a helping hand.
Appreciate Your Freedom By Living It. There are so many things we can do to show appreciation for the freedoms we have. Freedom does not only come from those who protect our borders and keep threats to our freedom at bay. Freedom is also preserved from within our borders, by people who participate actively in their communities. They show up at local government meetings and events, vote whenever decisions need to be made and volunteer to improve their communities. We can all find at least one way to protect our collective freedoms and make a difference.
Learn. Take time to learn about history. The military leader, Winston Churchill, said that “those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it”. History is regarded as a boring, dry subject, and it certainly isn’t where the jobs are, but it would be far better to understand our history and prevent wars than to keep sending young people to fight. No one denies it is sometimes necessary to fight, but those who have fallen in battle would certainly not wish their fate on others if it could be avoided.
A Day to Reflect
Memorial Day is a day to reflect, to think about those who have fallen. A day to share in our collective grief by putting out flags and visiting the graves of our brave heroes. To honor those who have died in the service of our freedom, we should all play our part. We can all contribute.