Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
BBQs with friends and family. Beach days with sand between your toes. A cold beer and lawn games. Warm weather to explore outside. #MDW is usually filled with some combination of the above activities. But the meaning of this three-day weekend is so much more to than this to many American families.
Originally implemented as a way to honor those who had fallen in the line of duty while protecting our country in the armed forces, this signification tends to be an afterthought or secondary reason for getting a day off of work or school. Truth be told, our focus is usually on what activities we want to take part in and with whom on our coveted extra day of the weekend. We may not know anyone directly who lost their life fighting for our rights, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still show gratitude and thanks.
These days, more than ever, it is important to show gratitude for the individuals who gave us the life we know today, who laid down their life to protect our right to free speech, to protest, and to live our life the way we please (as long as it does not harm that of another). Though politics is a dividing wedge between people these days, there is one thing that we cannot ignore: Americans are all living in a country that wouldn’t exist if there weren’t individuals willing to die to protect the lives we live.
So while you scarf down that burger or hot dog, fall asleep on the beach in the warm sun, or reach the peak of the mountain you’re climbing this weekend, be sure to thank the officers of our armed forces and honor them by continuing to do all of your favorite activities; it’s what they gave up their lives for.