The seeming confusion over Memorial Day, especially when we’ve lost almost 7,000 American servicemen and women in the wars we’ve been fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, and against ISIS, for almost two decades, bothers me. I respect and admire our Veterans, but their day is November 11th. And I have the utmost respect for all those currently serving in uniform, including a number of whom I count as friends. But Armed Forces Day was May 21st–did you remember to fly your flag and/or thank a service member?
Memorial Day, in contrast, is when we pause to remember, and honor, those who gave, as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently expressed it, the last full measure of devotion for their country. In this vein, the podcast 99% Invisible recently did a fascinating report on the history of, and the men who guard, the Tomb of the Unknown Solider at Arlington National Cemetery. It is, in my humble opinion, very much worth a listen if you have some time this weekend.
So, before you head out to the white sales, auto lots, picnics or pool this holiday weekend, I kindly ask that you join me–and Fox Rothschild–in pausing to remember those who truly gave the last full measure of devotion to our Nation, so that we can enjoy its freedoms. As General Patton wisely noted, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, let us thank God that such men lived.”