This past Monday, most of us took the day off of work to celebrate Memorial Day. As such, I’m going to veer off our normally scheduled programming to briefly talk about something that has been gnawing at me this week.
For the average American, Memorial Day is a day made for grilling and swimming with family and close friends. Maybe going to catch a baseball game with the family.
As with most family and social gatherings these days, the conversation will have undoubtedly turned political at some point, and at least some, if not all, of the group will have left with a bad taste in their mouth about something that was said. That’s how things go in 2017.
And I think it’s important to note that these political discussions are totally out of place on a day like Memorial Day. Very simply, Memorial Day is not a political holiday. It’s an American holiday.
Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor the incredibly brave young Men and Women that have given their lives to protect the freedoms we take for granted every day. The freedom to have heated debates with family members about political differences, for instance. It honors those that have made the ultimate sacrifice, so that we can argue about things like Medicaid and Foreign Policy over a cold beer.
Without this sacrifice, I wouldn’t have the freedom to write a newsletter like this one, and you wouldn’t have the freedom to delete it (or argue with me) if you disagree with what I write.
Without this sacrifice, I wouldn’t have had the freedom 21 years ago to start my own company, and many of you would be stuck on the ground floor of companies you hated, instead of being able to create great careers for yourselves.
Without this sacrifice, my kids, and yours, probably wouldn’t have been free to pick the college they wanted to go to and create their own futures.
Some will answer this message with, “but we shouldn’t have even been fighting XYZ conflict anyway”.
And my response is: it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter if you agree with any individual war that these service men and women died in. It doesn’t matter what you think of the current president, or the one before him, or any one before him. Those conversations and debates are perfectly valid almost any other day of the year.
Memorial Day isn’t about that. It’s not about politics. It’s not about race or religion.
Memorial Day is about remembering, and supporting the families of, the men and women that answered the call when their country needed them and paid the ultimate price so that the people back home wouldn’t have to. It’s about acknowledging the freedoms we have because of the brave.
So, even though Memorial Day was a few days ago, I encourage each of you to stop and take a moment to think about, and be thankful for, the men and women of the United States Military that have given their lives for you and your freedom.
We all owe them that much, at least.
I’ll get off my soapbox now.