Understanding The True Meaning of Memorial Day

Understanding the true meaning of Memorial Day, why Memorial Day matters …  as the warm sun shines down on us and the smell of barbecue fills the air, it’s easy to get caught up in the joy of Memorial Day festivities. But amidst the laughter and celebration, it’s crucial to take a moment to pause, reflect, and honor the true meaning of this important day.

Memorial Day isn’t just about cookouts and sales at your favorite store or online. It’s a day to remember and honor the brave individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.  It’s a day to pay tribute to the heroes who have selflessly given their lives to protect our country and ensure our safety.

Not Understanding the True Meaning of Memorial Day … Until

I think back to when I was a kid growing up.  Memorial Day was that last school holiday that signified that the school year was soon to end.   The last weekend to cram for the finals coming up the week ahead, not understanding the true meaning of Memorial Day.

That all changed when I raised my right hand and swore to serve and protect my country beyond all cost in the fall of 1986.  Experiencing first-hand the hard work, training, grit, and dedication it took to come together as ‘one’ in the United States Army.

No longer was it just me, or him or her, being individuals, but ‘Us as One’ to work selflessly together for a greater cause. Understanding that the life of the soldier standing next to you, was as just as important as your own in protecting and defending this great country of ours.  That selfless dedication is something that we did, so that the families back home, could wake up each day and go to sleep peacefully each night, knowing that they were safe.  Something that most overlook and take for granted in their daily life.

Why Memorial Day Matters

There are countless stories of heroism and sacrifice that play out on the battlefield every day. Stories of men and women who leave behind their loved ones, their homes, their dreams, to serve a cause greater than themselves. Stories of courage, determination, and unwavering devotion to duty.

It’s important to remember that Memorial Day has a rich history that dates back to the aftermath of the Civil War, when communities gathered to honor the fallen soldiers from both sides. It’s a day steeped in tradition, with ceremonies and parades held across the country to pay homage to those who have given their lives in service to our nation.

But it’s not just a day to look back at the past. It’s a day to look forward, to recognize the ongoing impact of our veterans and the sacrifices they have made. The freedom we enjoy today is a direct result of their service and dedication. We owe it to them to remember, to honor, and to never forget.

So, as we gather with our loved ones this Memorial Day, let’s take a moment to bow our heads in solemn remembrance. Let’s honor the memory of those who have fallen and thank the men and women who continue to serve. Let’s keep their stories alive, their sacrifices in our hearts, and their spirit of selflessness and courage as a guiding light for us all.

Thank you to all our veterans, past and present, for your service and sacrifice. We will never forget.

Understanding the true meaning of Memorial Day, and why Memorial Day matters may have a different meaning to you, but for me, having the opportunity to serve our great country and ensure your safety is a blessing and something I will always be grateful for!

~ Rick Fronek

– To everyone I served with, past and future veterans, and to those that sacrificed their lives and more – I want to personally say ‘Thank you’- I will never forget

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