I had to chuckle a bit to myself the other night when I went to pick-up pizza from a local pizza joint. There was a flyer there advertising that Memorial Day weekend they would be serving foot-long hotdogs. The ad read simply, “May 25th 2015, Footlong Hotdogs, Memorial Day” with the sub-text, “We will not forget.” I love this pizza place, but even I can tell that last phrase makes this a slightly strange ad.The ad itself made me chuckle. The use of such a powerful statement to sell foot-long hotdogs did stop and make me think for a moment.
A couple weeks ago my sister was the first and only person in two generations of my family to enter the military. It was strange to think that the person I used to sit and watch M.A.S.H. with as a kid was now training to be a nurse for the Navy. I’m proud of her knowing it’s a career choice I could never take. (Anyone who knows me knows that I’m just too stubborn and spontaneous for the military.) I’ve had a number of friends join various branches of the military, but I’ve always thought of Memorial Day as a holiday for “old people.” Ignorant, I know. It’s just now hit me that plenty of people, even my age, have died in service to this country. It’s not that I don’t know this as a fact, but now it’s somehow sunk into a deeper functioning part of my brain.
Over a million people have died in service to the US Military since the United States was born. Some died for great causes, like at D-Day during WWI, and others in less-fruitful situations such as those caught in the Spring Offensive during Vietnam. You may not know anyone by name who has died in service, but while you’re enjoying your BBQ food (or whatever else it is you’re doing,) take a moment to reflect on the way history was changed by these deaths.