Some Give All

I do my best to try and appreciate and understand the sacrifice of those who have served our nation in military service. I have many friends and family members who have, but having never personally served – the most I can do is try to understand and appreciate the sacrifice they have made for rest of us.

Today is Memorial Day.

Embarrassingly I must admit for much of my life the “Memorial Day” and “Veterans Day” holidays were fairly ambiguous. Almost “interchangeable”. I knew they were meant to honor those that served, and while I had a basic grasp of the difference, I never really understood or fully appreciated the significant difference between the two until an insignificant event occurred a few years ago.

A few years ago, I got into a disagreement with a co-worker over the meaning of Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. In a nut-shell, this co-worker (who was a veteran) arrived to work on Memorial Day and announced to everyone how disappointed she was that she had to work on Memorial Day – and how we were all supposed to “honor her” throughout the day because she is a veteran.

I meant no disrespect to her (or to ANY veteran), but I disagreed with her about the meaning behind Memorial Day. This coworker dug her heals in and continued to aruge with me that Memorial Day is (by the sheer fact that she is a veteran) “her day”.  In order to prove my point, I began to research the difference. I learned a lot that day.
For the record, nothing I learned that day changed my co-worker’s mind. She refused to acknowledge any difference, and was still ranting and raving about how Memorial Day was all about her and her service when my shift ended and I headed home.
What I learned (or was more clearly defined in my mind) was that while Veteran’s Day is a day to honor all who have served - Memorial Day is set aside specifically to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. It is the day we set aside to honor those soldiers (and the families they leave behind) that gave their lives during their service to our nation.
“All give some, yet some give all.”
I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me and one of my little “quirks” but each year when Memorial Day rolls around, I see the lines between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day being blurred more and more often. I don’t know why it affects me so much (remember, I never served in the military, nor do I have any immediate relatives that have given their lives in the line of duty), but when that line is blurred I am left feeling as if somehow we are doing a disservice to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of these United States.

It feels (to me) as if we are diminishing the true meaning behind Memorial Day.

I don’t want this to be interpreted wrongly. I honor and respect both, but at the same time I am able to distinguish the differentiate between a veteran who has served, and a soldier who gave their life. Each deserve respect for what they have given – which is maybe one reason why I am writing this post. I believe in the importance of distinguishing the difference.  

Memorial day is set aside to remember, honor, and memorialize those who will never return, those whose lives were cut short, those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the rest of us.  It is meant to honor something that anyone reading this post has yet to experience.

So, while you celebrate Memorial Day in whatever method you choose, please take a moment to remember who we are honoring and why we are honoring them on this very special day. Today is a day to remember, to thank, and to memorialize those who gave their all.

From the Revolutionary War through our latest conflicts in the Middle East (and everywhere / everything between) - I wish to honor and thank all those fathers/sons/brothers and mothers/daughters/sisters who lost their lives serving, protecting, and defending the rest of us.

All give some, but some…
                                               … give all.

To those who have - Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Happy Memorial Day.

1 comment:

  1. Very nicely worded David. I have had this conversation with Christopher many times. He too being a veteran who does understand the difference gets frustrated and down feeling that Memorial Day is being forgotten. It's posts like this that help keep it's meaning alive.


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