The three day Memorial Day weekend is here. So far we have enjoyed a family gathering and swim, a BBQ and soccer game (Barcelona vs. Manchester United), a hike, and I know we will do more fun things. So for many, the holiday is now a fun BBQ or shopping holiday.
Last year my dad showed me and my sister some of the mini-series, Band of Brothers. If you never saw it, you should. It tells the true story of a unit in World War II called Easy Company. They were paratroopers into Normandy against heavy German bombardment. I learned a lot about fear and conquering fear. They were young, scared guys who would have preferred being home. Still, they did their duty as a team.
The truth is they are heroes. A hero is a regular guy who does exceptional things. These guys bravely fought, because talking and negotiating with an evil government merely made that government more cruel. Neville Chamberlain, the passive English prime-minister, set the stage for a more horrible conflict by appeasing an evil ideology. So these soldiers took on the responsibility because it had become necessary.
Soldiers are personally risking all they have, meaning their lives, to protect us. It is important to acknowledge that with gratitude, to remember the unlucky ones who couldn’t return home, and to honor their accomplishments for at least a few minutes between festivities.