Lest I continue my complacent way, help me to remember somewhere out there, a man died for me today. As long as there be war I then must ask and answer, am I worth dying for? -Carried in Eleanor Roosevelt’s Wallet
Memorial Day was begun in 1868 by General James Garfield to specifically honor those who had died during the Civil War. It was recognized by majority of Northern states until World War One, when the last Monday of May became an official federal holiday honoring those that had died in all U.S. wars. Thus, for over a hundred years, Americans have set aside this day to honor and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
One day of remembrance is not enough to repay the debt that we owe to those who have chosen to sacrifice their lives for our freedom. Because when they died, they gave up two lives. The one they were living, and the ones they were supposed to live. They gave up their chances to go to college. To raise a family. To buy a house. To own a car. To vote. To see generation after generation of Americans grow and live in the freedom they fought to preserve.
It is a debt, we can never repay. A hole we can never fill. A life we cannot live.
However, we can do something. One thing. We can all take this day, to evaluate our lives-what we are doing, the choices we are making, where we are heading-to see if we are worth dying for. To make sure, that wherever we go we are taking these lives with this freedom that has been bought with a price, and we are earning their sacrifice.
Happy Memorial Day.