Christmas is nice. So is Hanukkah. And Kwanza too! My favorite of the religiously-inspired holidays has always been Easter, with its Spring-like weather, with its hope of renewal, and with its prayer of “rising from the dead.”
Among the nationally-inspired holidays, like Thanksgiving, President’s Day, and other shopping days, I feel more emotional about Memorial Day than all the rest. Unlike Veterans Day, which theoretically honors all those who wore a uniform, Memorial Day honors those who actually died . . . those who paid that last full measure.
Often attributed to Nathan Hale, the notion of “My only regret is that I have but one life to give for my country” . . . lingers bravely over Memorial Day.
During my time as an infantry officer, I never met a single soldier who wanted to die for their country – not a single one, but there were many who felt life is over-rated. There are more important things than life — like pride, like family, like country . . . like never surrendering.
None of those religiously-inspired holidays nor even nationally-inspired holidays, bring tears to my eyes . . . only Memorial Day.
Yes, I will go the beach and have a hot dog with a cold beer . . . but I do it with appreciation for those who paid the price for me.