Posted by Capt. Paul S. Hammer, DCoE director on May 27, 2011
Capt. Paul S. Hammer, DCoE director
Memorial Day developed out of Decoration Day, a tradition of decorating the graves of the fallen from the Civil War. As history marched on, the day became a day to remember the fallen from all wars, not just the Civil War. It officially became Memorial Day after World War II.
Now, we mark Memorial Day as the start of summer, the newest blockbuster action movies start to come out, we think of graduations, vacations and summer travel plans, car races, picnics and golf tournaments.
But perhaps we should take time to reflect on the sacrifices of those who made all this fun possible, and to remember those they left behind who will forever be affected by their loss.
The pain and grief at the loss of a loved one fades with time, but it is never forgotten. Nor should it be for the rest of us who live comfortably because of the sacrifices of those who have gone before.
So, enjoy the next big blockbuster action flick, have fun and eat hot dogs at the picnic, get revved up at the car races, enjoy the ball game. But, when they ask you to stand to sing the national anthem or pause for a moment of silence to honor those who have died in defense of our country, linger for a quiet moment to honor them. Think about all those flags in all those cemeteries around our country and all the lives they represent.
Remember who they are, what they did and what they died for. Don't ever forget.
CAPT. Paul S. Hammer,