How important is it for our young people to know why we celebrate Memorial Day? As a Social Studies teacher, I (Sue) felt it was extremely important, so I planned and produced a Memorial Day program for years that involved students, teachers, many meaningful slides, patriotic music, and a salute to the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. My principal and I felt it was important for these 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to know about our country’s history, and the sacrifice many in our military paid throughout the years. Sometimes the adults in the audience learned something too, and that was a good thing.
Military service runs strong in our families. Sue’s Dad and Father-in-law served in the Air Force and Navy, respectively, during WWII. Her husband was a Communication Engineer in the USAF, retiring after 20 years, and Deidre’s husband is a 27-yr. US Navy veteran, retiring as a SCMSgt. She has other family members who are actively serving in the military or retired. The “Voices” know the cost of military service!
We all should remember this service and sacrifice because so many lost their lives to protect our way of life. They selflessly thought of our country and its citizens instead of themselves. The Bible says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). This is exactly what our fallen military did; except they laid down their lives for many people they didn’t even know.
This Memorial Day is more than family gatherings, picnics, swimming pool openings, or the beginning of summer. It is a remembrance of those who served our country and lost their lives doing so. We salute and remember you.