Today is a special day.

This day comes around every year.  It’s no surprise.  It’s been celebrated and put on calendars for over a hundred years now.  Many of us spend the Friday before counting down the minutes, even seconds, until the end of the day so we can head out of the office and spend the next 3 days relaxing.  And hopefully not thinking about work!

To many, this day is just another day off, being able to get away from work and just relax, maybe spend some time with family and friends, and the starting mark of summer.  To others, it’s a day to hit the malls and stores, pushing and shoving others out of the way to land the big deals on clothes, shoes, electronics, or appliances.  (Remember my article on Thanksgiving? Same concept, just not as many people.)

While to many others, this day has so much more meaning.  It’s much more personal than a date on the calendar.

Memorial Day is, and should be, much more than just another day off from work.  Much more than getting together and deciding who is going to bring what to the BBQ.  And certainly MUCH more than scouring the ads in search of the best deals.

This day is about taking time to remember all those men and women who dedicated their lives to protecting this country, giving all us other hard-working Americans our freedoms, and ultimately losing their life in the end.  They set aside their own families, hopes, dreams, and futures to fight for something bigger than themselves.  They sacrificed their lives, so that we may have ours.

So don’t just remember the fallen, but remember their families as well.

My dad was in the Army.  My dad is still alive, thank you Jesus.  I may not be here otherwise.  But there are so many who are not so lucky.  To all of you, my heart goes out to you.  I’m sorry that your loved one is no longer here to see birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, kids grow up, having kids of their own.  I’m sorry you have to go through life without them.

But let me simply say “thank you“.  Thank you for standing with them and supporting them in fighting for our country.  Fighting for others around the world and for trying to make the world a better and safer place for all.  Thank you for all that you are doing now for others who have lost their loved ones and for taking care of your kids that are now motherless or fatherless.  Thank you for continuing to fight each day.  I’m sure it’s not easy, but you can do it.  Do it for you, your kids, your family, for the future generations that will continue to make this great nation, and world, a better and safer place for all.

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