It’s Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start to summer. Many years ago, I was like so many others and looked at Memorial Day weekend as a celebration and a reason to party. I could probably have a down payment on a new car if I had all of the money I spent at that time on bars and drinks on Memorial Day weekends alone. I didn’t give it a second thought, but looking back, it’s not something I am proud of.
As I matured and as the world changed, I experienced first-hand loss from the Afghanistan conflicts as two of my former students heroically died while protecting others. A few years ago, my town used to have a Memorial Day parade, but because of low turnout, they switched to a ceremony at a town park. When I found out the reason for the parade cancellation, I was quite upset: the street is filled with parents and children for the annual Halloween parade. Apparently costumes and candy are more important than honoring those who gave us the freedom to wear costumes and eat candy in the first place, and to me, that is…
Wait a minute. As I type this I realize that my comments might be misinterpreted as shame. That is not my goal.
My goal is to educate and inform so that more people will take the time to honor and remember while they are celebrating and having fun.
Not everyone has a connection to someone to honor on Memorial Day. If you don’t, please visit my links below so you can learn more about Sgt. Ronald A. Kubik and Cpl. Nicholas S. Ott.
Take a moment this weekend to honor what the day means and stands for. Educate the young people in your life about the true meaning of Memorial Day and about real heroes like Nick and Ron who gave their lives for the USA. Attend a local ceremony or service for an hour. Join in the National Moment of Silence at 3 PM on Monday, May 30.
Thank you to all the men and women who gave their lives while serving our country. I am grateful for your sacrifice and I honor your memory.
Read my letter to Ron and Nick from November 2015
Remembering Sgt. Ronald Kubik from Micromedia Publications
A Field of Flags, and Ocean County memorials including Nick and Ron from Micromedia Publications
Cpl. Nicholas S. Ott Memorial Fund
Hawks Hall of Honor
Free Memorial Day Printable from me
I’d also like to remember and thank Matthew Zegan for his service (1973-1994). Matthew is another graduate from the school where I work who was killed in a tragic accident at Fort Bragg.