The three gifts of Memorial Day

Blessings on this Memorial Day, America!

It’s been a challenging few months and you might be wondering how we’d celebrate this particular holiday with no parades, glib sales or cemetary ceremonies.

Maybe you thought our face masks would muffle our annual regard.

Well, take heart because not even a simmering global pandemic can diminish what this holiday means to you and all of us.

We only ever needed three things to celebrate Memorial Day properly anyway and those we have in abundance.

1. Respect. Do not let the theatre of politics fool you. Most Americans stand united in their respect for the sacrifices our military members make to protect us and all we hold dear. If you’ve ever found yourself in an airport when a military casket comes home, you will see deference from ground and flight crews and harried travelers alike. I saw this happen at O’Hare, one of the busiest airports in the world, on an otherwise ordinary summer afternoon. Our military personnel are among the American heroes who head toward the danger and help others flee it and that is the definition of bravery

2. Gratitude. Despite our differences and the carnival barking aspects of social media that exploit them, we have plenty to be grateful for here in this country. Our mostly admirable and occasionally troublesome feistiness flourishes here because we have both freedom of thought and expression. It seems appropriate to acknowledge this on a holiday that honors the men and women who died in pursuit and support of this ideal.

3. Peace. With only a few notable exceptions, like that terrible day in 2001, we have enjoyed peace on our soil. It’s an extraordinary gift and, even though it is not always equitably distributed, it is our most worthy attribute.We acknowledge it today, and look to expand it for all our tomorrows.

An entire wing at O’Hare came to a standstill to honor this fallen soul. I found the whole ceremony– both planned and spontaneous, profoundly moving.
Happy Memorial Day from a profoundly grateful American.

5 thoughts on “The three gifts of Memorial Day

  1. Thanks Laura! I will keep these three gifts front and center today and for the days ahead.

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