As we begin our descent from the Hump on this Hump Day, I want to ask everyone to spend some time pondering the great holiday weekend that is coming up. It will be Memorial Day weekend, a moment in time many call the unofficial beginning of summer but, more importantly, it's a time to honor the brave men and women of our Armed Forces going all the way back to the Revolution. There is no greater gift that a person can give and each of those we honor did just that, giving their life so that others might remain free. The reason I mention it this day is I hope all of us, but particularly parents, will do a little research in the interim and decide to celebrate over the weekend and next Monday, the official holiday, some of the wonderful sacrifices they made. Some are buried at Normandy American Military Cemetery in France shown above, not far from where they stormed the beaches to embark on the march through Europe and end the reign of Adolph Hitler.
Sadly, most schools don't study or even spend any time on the foundations and meaning of this holiday. Even sadder, even some of our churches ignore it, but all Americans need to remember it and teach our children of its meaning and relevance since it represents so much sacrifice by Americans in uniform past, present and future for those who never have known the terror and fear faced, nor the bravery they displayed while often knowing they would never make it home to American again. It's special, it's sacred and it' s not the day to thank all service members for their service, no, it's a day to remember our dead from from combat.
A good way to discuss it is look up Bunker Hill, look up the Normandy invasion, the assault of Iwo Jima or even the war in Vietnam to find some stories to tell your children about and the valor that those who died displayed. And, of course, there are so many more examples. We so often try to hide some of the horrific events in our past as if Americans don't need to be bothered with the difficulties in our history. But history, and particularly the gallantry and honor of our fighting forces need to be saluted and remembered, for if we forget our past, it will repeat itself. History proves that over and over again. So, while I'll write more about Memorial Day as it nears, especially as part of a special Sunday blog and on the actual holiday itself, sit down with your family and teach what it means to be the ultimate patriotic American, the ones who were willing give up their own lives so that the rest of us remain free. And I pray that from this endeavor, it might instill the understanding of how hard so many worked to give us that very freedom that we so often take for granted. Freedom isn't free, sometimes it is bloody and ugly to achieve, but it is far better than cowering as tyranny envelops us. God bless you, God bless America and God bless the souls of those who never came home.