With Memorial Day coming up this weekend I wanted to give pause for time to do something I do not do as often as I should: remembrance.
Usually, I am busy planning a BBQ or a bike ride or a trip to Lake Champlain this weekend, as Vermont explodes with spring blossoms, sunshine, and greenery. Like many of us, I treat Memorial Day as time off with friends and family. However, I do believe remembering those who have left us, and honoring those who put their lives on the line for the benefit of our country, our communities, and each one of us individually is important.
My father was one of those from the Greatest Generation – a vet from World War II who never really spoke of his time in the service, and if asked just said serving was what one had to do. Luckily for him, he was one of those who joined the war effort just as the hostilities were subsiding and was shipped out to the South Pacific after most of the Japanese forces had been pushed out. I remember him saying he was fresh out of high school and there was a sense of commitment – of doing the right thing – that permeated Americans back then, no matter their place in socie ty.
I do believe we owe a debt of gratitude to those who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces. Their sacrifices, courage and commitment must never be overlooked. This year we also owe our respect and gratitude to those who have been on the front lines saving lives during the pandemic this past year plus. They have given so much for all of us, many times putting their own safety and security on the line to help others. Perhaps if there could be a silver lining from the COVID pandemic, it would be a renewed sense of the concept of the greater good, service to others, and recognition of true selflessness when the chips are down.
So, please have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend with all your loved ones but also take extra time to remember and appreciate. Thank you and I look forward to seeing you soon.