FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2010
For me Memorial Day is one of the most poignant holidays this country observes.
Although we celebrate it by taking a day off from work or school, if we take the time to read the stories of bravery, patriotism and sacrifice by our men and women in uniform throughout our history, this day can take on a whole new meaning--its true meaning.
Memorial Day, celebrated the last Monday in May, started in response to the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War in which we lost over 200,000 soldiers on both sides.
While figures may vary, for the five major wars our country has fought that include the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War, there have been close to 600,000 combat deaths. Others also died as part of war but not directly in combat. Although they didn't die in combat, they served heroically in combat support.
For the War on Terrorism that includes warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have lost over 4,000 soldiers already.
These numbers represent lives that impacted spouses, children, parents, families and entire communities.
I recall the sorrowful look on my Father's face, a now deceased World War II veteran, when he remembered the hardships and sacrifices made by him and his brothers- in-arms, many of whom didn't return home. From my Dad I understood not just the horrors of war, but the price that our men and women in uniform pay on our behalf.
Let's make Memorial Day the proper holiday it was intended to be: celebrating our freedom while honoring the heroes who died to protect it.