As the school year wraps up for many across the country and we commence our summer activities, we begin the season with a somber day set aside to remember soldiers fallen in combat in America’s wars and to honor veterans who have lost comrades in America’s struggle to protect life and liberty.
Memorial Day has its roots in the years following the Civil War, when more than 600,000 Americans lost their lives in tragic conflict, and has since been expanded to recognize veterans from every war. The day has also become one which many Americans celebrate with a cookout, a picnic, or some other family activity. While we may certainly celebrate with our families and friends, we must not lose sight of the real reason for the holiday – to honor and remember those who have served honorably and without regard for their own safety to protect this great country.
Many NACD members are veterans themselves who have since come home and started a business or launched their careers in chemical distribution after retiring from the service. Others are still in the reserves and continue to contribute actively to the protection of our nation, all while balancing their non-military careers and family life.
It’s customary for the president or vice president to give a speech honoring these soldiers on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. While it’s important to see our nation’s leaders express gratitude for the commitment of our armed services personnel, we too can take actions recognizing this important day. You can lay American flags on the tombs of fallen soldiers, or you can fly the flag at your home or business at half-mast. Better yet, reach out to a veteran or the family of a fallen soldier to thank them for their sacrifice.
We each have a responsibility to honor those who have come before us in the service of our nation. While we may be looking forward to our summer activities, let’s not skip past this important day without pausing and taking the time to ensure the sacrifice of others gets the recognition it deserves.