Americans are not very good at remembering their history. Sorry to say this, but it is true. How quickly they forget really does apply to us as a country and a society. For someone who really does love history, this makes me very sad. So should we just accept this reality or try and change it? A little of both!
Memorial Day was originally created to remember those who were killed in the Civil War. Today it includes all who have died in service to our country since then. However, now we basically include all who we love who have passed away. Not only those who served, but parents, siblings, and those we hold near and dear who are no longer with us. This is good!
But we should not forget all those who have given the great sacrifice of life for us, so that we may be free to celebrate this holiday. Maybe after we have remembered those we know and love who have passed away that we take some time to remember history. Our history, the history that our parents and grandparents lived through.
Last year we remembered the 100thanniversary of the end of World War I, This June we will remember the 75thanniversary of D-Day during World War II. We might even remember some of the battles that took place 155 years ago here in the United States during the Civil War. But what of those other wars and places that took the lives of men and women way too young to have them end?
Here is just some of the wars, conflicts, and places that have happened that citizens of our country made the ultimate sacrifice: Spanish American War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Panama, Grenada, Beirut, Iraq 1 & 2, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, China Boxer Rebellion, Somalia, Bosnia, Sudan, (Wars against Native American Tribes and nations 20 plus of these). Well you get the picture.
Its seems our history is filled with wars and violence. Some of these wars were necessary, and others not so much. No matter the reason for the wars, young men and women died on our behalf. We should not forget them or the terrible price of war.
On this Memorial Day, we should remember those we love who have gone before us. We should also remember those who have served and died on our behalf, not only with flags at graves or in front of houses of worship, but by remembering the history of the time they lived and died. Hold dear the memory of loved ones and those loved ones throughout our history who gave so much.