WASHINGTON, May 26, 2016 — Memorial Day is traditionally celebrated it with picnics and family gatherings. But we should also remember that Memorial Day is a national holiday dedicated to those who have died in America’s wars.
More than that, it is a day we are to remember those men and women who made the supreme sacrifice when their country needed them the most.
Thanks to advances in medical and military technology, death tolls from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were far lower than they would have been in decades past. The number of wounded and damaged survivors, on the other hand, was larger.
On Memorial Day, we should remember not just those who died in America’s wars, but also those who survived with less visible but no less real scars. Many of who are struggling, along with their families, to regain their post service lives.
This Memorial Day, I’ll remember people like my great-grandfather and great-uncle, who both served in the U.S. Army and lived long lives after their service, as well as all the others I know who serve today.
My great-grandfather was a man I always looked up to as the embodiment of those characteristics the American people expect to see in their servicemen and women.
In addition to remembering the sacrifices of America’s troops, this is a day to remember why they have gone to war.
Whether fighting to save the world from brutal fascist dictators bent on world domination or sharing our blood and treasure to uphold American ideals of peace and prosperity for all, the reasons why America has sacrificed is as important as those who fought and died.