where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me. -Lee Greenwood
About fifteen years ago a survey asked children why they thought there was a holiday on Memorial Day. Many guessed reasons that had more to do with barbecues, parties, and celebrating things like the opening day for swimming pools. Most of the children surveyed had no idea that we honor the sacrifices of our soldiers on Memorial Day.
I have to confess to a similar blunder as a kid when I got excited about Memorial Day because The Salt Lake Country Club swimming pool opened. Then, Labor Day signaled the depressing news of the pool’s final day. Both holidays have become like bookends to usher in and then close down the summer season.
In 1997, a National Moment of Remembrance tradition began to help younger generations learn about the meaning of the Memorial Day holiday. At 3:00 pm, everyone is asked to keep silent for a full minute, then ’Taps’ is played, during which time we’ve been asked to reflect on those who have served our country to protect us.
As a kid and an adult, I could certainly do a better job of paying tribute to our servicemen on Memorial Day. Gosh, my blog post is even a day late. However, as a kid (and I haven’t actually tried recently - or basically in my adult years), I could play ’Taps’ on a bugle my grandpa Lon gave me (not that anyone has recruited me to play - just some trivia, fwiw). In fact, I still have the bugle (so maybe I’ll get it out and practice for next year).
“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example. -Benjamin Disraeli