As a former Navy surface warfare officer who does not typically open up about my military service, I very rarely push my convictions about the military onto anyone. However, as we commemorate this Memorial Day, I want to remind those of you who have not served what this "holiday" truly stands for.
As the large-scale wars of history continue to fade in the memories of Americans, Memorial Day has become more synonymous with "the unofficial start of summer" than for what the day was intended for. Remembering and honoring those who have died serving their country in a time of war.
While many of us have been untouched by the horrors of war, there are millions of American families for whom Memorial Day is the most significant day of the year. Memorial Day was intended for all Americans to grieve with those families who have lost someone during a time of war protecting what we all take for granted.
Memorial Day is not a day to honor all those who simply served in the military. We do that on Veterans Day in November. Memorial Day is for honoring all those men and women whose names are carved in stone on warmonuments all across the nation — monuments we pass by and never think twice about. No matter where you are this Memorial Day — whether on a beach, by the pool, over a grill, or around the dinner table — I ask that, in your own way, you take a brief moment to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country and remember that there are millions of Americans across the nation who will be grieving this Memorial Day instead of celebrating the unofficial start of summer.