It’s Memorial Day here in the United States today, and as is human nature, we use our holidays to get together with family, to cook and enjoy good food and drink, and to treat the day of rest we have been given like another opportunity for a party with the people we love.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
But at the same time, we know what Memorial Day is for, what it’s about, the kind of sacrifice it seeks to commemorate and honor, and so saying “Happy Memorial Day” feels pretty out of place. This year, my wife Jamie and I wanted to put together a message that captures the real sentiment of the day, and to say thank you. Although I’ve never served, I have been surrounded in my family by men who have, and even my father-in-law, though he was an immigrant from China, served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. This old photo of my late grandfather’s family (he’s the one on the far right) shows three out of seven boys in uniform.
In keeping with the spirit of the day, the following is a video I made for Jamie’s business (I didn’t have time to make a separate version for 1P5), but I hope it’s more than just a checkbox on a marketing worksheet that tells us to send out the right messages at the right times of year. We live in a time when people aren’t always sure that the wars we fight are just, that the cause is righteous, that the outcome will lead to a better world. But the young men who sign up to to serve their country nevertheless put their lives on the line, often at great cost. May God bless them, may He ensure that our cause is worthy, and for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, may He grant them eternal rest.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.