|Photo courtesy of Morguefile|
While we honor those who've served, both past and present, on Veteran's Day, Memorial Day is set apart to honor those who have died. We memorialize them with parades and programs and visits to the cemeteries. We honor their sacrifices. We pay homage to their courage.
So how did I fail? By thanking the veterans I know who are still living on a day meant to pay tribute to the dead. My son-in-law, who was a sergeant in the Marines and served two tours of duty in Iraq, is the one who corrected me a couple of years ago as I was thanking him for his service. Apparently, today's veterans do not want to be honored in any way on this particular day in May. Many have lost comrades as they served side-by-side. Others grew up without fathers who sacrificed their lives in wars and conflicts throughout the years. Some simply want to not forget those who went before them and now lie in flag-marked graves.
So as we remember and honor those who are no longer with us, let us also respect the purpose of the holiday. It's the very least we can do.
Be safe this Memorial Day weekend,