We know we're posting this blog a day earlier than usual, but we are just so overwhelmed by this holiday that we had to wish everyone well for it. Barbecues are heating up, beaches are filling with excited families, deliciously overindulgent foods are taking up every inch of table space, and fun is ready to be had by all. Memorial day weekend is the perfect time to just unwind and enjoy the freedoms we have in this country. But of course, we wouldn't have those freedoms if it weren't for the countless men and women we celebrate today who sacrificed their own lives to maintain them.
While there are many who have never experienced the loss of a soldier in their family, there are no lives that have not been touched by a member of the armed forces. Because of what they were willing to sacrifice in their own lives, even if that meant life itself, we are able to fall asleep knowing that in the morning we can personalize our day with our choices. We can choose our own religion, how we schedule our time, where we live, what we think, what we say; it's all ours to decide. So why not decide to reflect on those who secured our rights?
We'd like to encourage you to take a few extra moments today away from the parades, sales, and parties to remember our fallen soldiers and the families they fought to protect. You don't need to write a speech on social media or go out of your way to do anything fancy for them, just think about the people they were/are. Allow the memory of those real, loving, feeling individuals to fill you with a renewed sense of gratitude for everything and everyone that you care about. That is the greatest honor you can give our fallen troops.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day, everyone.
-James A. Garfield
May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery