Far too many Americans will focus attention on Sale! Sale! Sale! as shoppers scan newspapers and TV ads for the best bargains of the weekend. Time will be spent bartering and bantering over items not necessarily needed but wanted, not because they are 'for sale' but simply because they are 'on sale'. Entertainment groups will gather in parks and arenas around the nation. Barbeque and camping will be the words of the day accompanied by cases upon cases of sodas, wine and beer.
Whoa! STOP! What is wrong with this picture? Hello! This is MEMORIAL Day weekend!
That's right...MEMORIAL! That means this weekend, especially Monday, is a celebration of remembrance: commemorating the men and women who have died in war or in the service of their country. These are not our veterans, living/disabled or deceased, or our wounded warriors who served in the military coming home at some point during their service to reunite with family, friends and loved ones. These are the persons who pledged allegiance, gave their all to ensure America's freedoms remain intact.
Mentioning our veterans brings up a very important comparison since they, too, are honored with a special day of celebration.
Memorial Day vs. Veterans' Day
Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who DIED in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered on Veterans Day, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty. A complete history of Veterans Day, and why it is observed on November 11, can be found on the Veterans Day History Web page.
As you prepare in celebration for a fun day with family and friends, don't forget to include a special time for reverence in honor of and respect for the men and women who gave their all, their lives, for America. We would not be where we are today, enjoying the freedoms America has to offer, were it not for those who sacrificed to make and keep this country free. After all, they are the epitome of the human spirit called freedom!
It isn't a bad thing to take advantage of the sales, especially taking into consideration our nation's economy. However, should you take that advantage at any time during this weekend or on Monday be sure to notice whether an American flag is flying or if a sign is displayed in the window in honor and respect of our fallen soldiers. If one is not visible, I challenge you to ask WHY not?