All told, countless millions have died defending our way of life. From the days of Washington to the present age, their sacrifice has both inspired and humbled us. Our veterans, as one member of Congress nicely put it last week, “are the heart and soul of this country.” He's right.
And yet it’s important to remember that Memorial Day is not just another holiday; it's a day to explicitly honor members of the military who have died on domestic and foreign battlefields. As the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs explains,
Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service. In observance of the holiday, many people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at national cemeteries. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.
Let us us take a moment, then, to remember our veterans past and present, but especially those who've fought and died so that our nation, as Lincoln famously said, “might live.” It is to them we are, and will always be, indebted to.