The warmth of May spreads across Wisconsin. The smell of charcoal floats through the air and the echo of laughter is heard as pools are used for the first time. I slide across the black driveway, feeling the skin peel away from my knee as Dads face off against sons, brothers and nephews. Our family sits around an array of hot dogs, brats, and burgers. We pause to thank God for a life of plenty, and as we say amen, we remember what this last Monday in May, Memorial Day, is truly about.
I think about both my grandpas. Each served in Korea, one in the Army, the other in the Navy. One sailed across the salty ocean, as the other set up base on Japan. They served for the same thing, even though they were so far apart. They served so their kids, and their kids’ children, could have a life full of freedom. They served so our family can fill our spectacular appetites to the fullest without worrying.
For other Americans, there is an even deeper meaning to Memorial Day. Those who have loved ones who have passed in conflicts, celebrate this day in memory of their sacrifice. People celebrate in honor of the victims of terrorist attacks that filled the country with a sense of dread. And they also honor the ones who passed fighting evil to make sure it will never happen again.
So as we have our cookouts and think about the upcoming summer fun, on Memorial Day, we also stop to think about all the sacrifices that Americans have made throughout history. We remember and thank them for our freedom, liberty and our great country.