As is custom, Memorial Day calls upon us to honor those who gave their lives for our country — the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in all of America’s wars and conflicts over the centuries.
We salute them yet again in hopes that their service and courage will never be forgotten, just as, on another day, we summon the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust, so that their suffering — and the crucial lessons that suffering imparts — will never be lost to time.
In this troubled and uncertain year, we are called upon again to remember the names added to those tragic lists — the first responders, doctors, nurses, paramedics, police, firefighters, grocery workers and many others — who have put themselves in harm’s way and perished. They died to protect us from the deadly virus threatening us all.
They, too, in waging a war on our behalf, remind us of the sacrifices upon which our country was founded and built. Let us include them, too, in our prayers and gratitude this Memorial Day.
This year there will be a more pristine Memorial Day, like it used to be. There will be far fewer parties and barbecues that have nothing to do with the origin and purpose of the day. There will be more time for people to reflect on the meaning of this day, more opportunity to treat it as it once was and always should be.
In the countless lessons and changes that we shall derive from this coronavirus era, we may count one as unequivocally positive: the pure remembrance of those who gave their lives so that we could live.
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