CHARLOTTE – Wow! Memorial Day has arrived once again. The last Monday in May has become a day to anticipate with joy and pride for some. Others associate it with a different meaning as it is a day of mourning, sadness, tears and pain for some families. However, most Americans look forward to Memorial Day weekend as time at the beach, having a BBQ in the backyard, time off from the daily grind, and spending time with family and friends for rest and relaxation.
However, Memorial Day is actually a time for us to pause and honor those brave Americans from the Revolutionary War up to today who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We will mourn their deaths, but we should also celebrate their lives and service to our country.
For those who have served and anyone who has lost a family member serving in the military, it’s a solemn occasion that gives us time to reflect on those American patriots who have fallen defending and protecting a country they deeply loved.
This solemn day of remembrance was originally called Decoration Day, and it was started after the Civil War to honor both Union and Confederate soldiers who lost their lives during the most horrific conflict in our nation’s history. It’s a day to honor the sacrifices we made as a nation by over one million heroes who died in all our wars since the American Revolution.
This sacrifice is painfully shared by the Gold Star families, close friends and relatives of each individual military member. Most of us will not truly understand the depths of their despair unless we have experienced it ourselves.
What was in the hearts of these men and women is what really matters. It is the devotion within that led them to sacrifice their lives. It’s difficult for us – the living – to equate our own lives with those who made such a sacrifice. The surviving loved ones do not need to look very far to find their hero.
In our surrounding area, there are at least two Memorial Day ceremonies being held.
Every year, the Town of Waxhaw honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice with a memorial ceremony held at the Military Wall of Honor in downtown Waxhaw at 10:00 am.
In Matthews, Hooks-Orr American Legion Post 235 will hold their annual Memorial Day ceremony at 11:00 am in Stumptown Park in downtown Matthews.
All local veterans hope you will join us at one of these events to recognize and remember the lives of servicemen and women whose bravery preserved the freedoms we all enjoy today. Let’s use this day to unite us as citizens, to count our blessings and stand proud as Americans.