Don't treat like just another three-day weekend.
Don't herald it as the beginning of summer because, well -- because it's not!
And don't ever, ever ignore what it means or stands for or who it honors.
I'm saying all this because for me, this day is personal. The three young men that you see above are (clockwise from top) Frank Bushey, Victor Gross and John Halladay. They all died while serving our nation in Vietnam. And they were all high school classmates of mine. To this day, I remember them and I think about them often.
THIS is what Memorial Day is all about.
It's about those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice.
I hated the Vietnam War. Hated it!
And I hated it even more after it took these three young men.
There's nothing glamorous or adventurous about war. That's the movie version. What you see above is what happens in the real life version -- all to real, painfully real, heart-breakingly real.
Honoring those who gave their all is our way -- a very small way -- of trying to show how indebted we are to those who went to war and never came home. It's our way of remembering them and their families and friends who were left with incalculable loss. It's our way of trying to extend a measure of comfort to those who still grieve, who still miss their loved ones. These were young lives cut short in their prime -- never to blossom and reach their full potential.
Memorial Day is a personal thing -- something multiplied hundreds and thousands of times over and beyond the few faces that you see above.
Remember them. Honor them. Show gratitude for their service. Keep them in your hearts. Never, ever, ever forget!