Across the country today, graves will be marked by American flags and adorned with flowers. Each will be a poignant reminder to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
The origin of Memorial Day is not without controversy. Many date its unofficial beginnings to the period immediately after the Civil War when southerners began decorating the graves of fallen soldiers. What was seen as an incredible act of conciliation, the women of the South who led this effort, treated the graves of Confederate and Union soldiers that same – decorating both. This magnanimous practice quickly spread to the North.
Remembering those who sacrifice, whether in war or in the daily struggle to make the world a better place for others, is not just the right thing to do. It is also a crucial practice in understanding who we are as individuals, communities and a nation.
I recently learned that each year on Memorial Day, a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00PM local time.
By all means, please make a note to yourself to do this today. Reflect on those soldiers – both known and strangers alike - who have given their lives for your freedom.
But also consider planting a flag in your mind that marks 3:00 PM as the time you take EACH DAY – to remember another person’s sacrifice that made some aspect of your life possible.
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