Memorial Day – Traditional Meanings & Honoring Everyday Heroes

Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer in the US, and it’s traditionally a day of recognition of those who served our country and died in the effort. Large numbers of people, families and areas have broadened the scope to include honoring those who have fallen in the effort to protect our safety: Police, Firefighters, EMTs, volunteers, etc. as well as friends and family who have passed on.  Simply put, it’s a time to remember and honor all who are no longer with us, regardless of how or why they died.

This year Memorial Day falls on May 28th.

I decided to look up more information about Memorial Day, its history and how it is celebrated around our country. I read a lot of articles, some shown below. And I found some great quotes.

Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don’t know how far we can go.
Bernard Malamud

Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.
Carol Lynn Pearson

I believe it is the nature of people to be heroes, given the chance.
James A. Autry

Nurture your minds with great thoughts, to believe in the heroic makes heroes.
Benjamin Disraeli

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.
Mark Twain

Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.
Omar Bradley

The secret of Happiness is Freedom, and the secret of Freedom, Courage.
Thucydides

Heroism … is endurance for one moment more.
George F. Kennan

After reading these quotes, I was inspired to think that perhaps the real meaning of Memorial Day is the celebration of our heroes, those who protect our country in the military or other avenues, but perhaps also the everyday heroes amongst us.

Everyday heroes are those who give their lives for others (and I don’t mean they have to die). Some are the type of hero who runs into the burning building, but most are simple people, doing large and small acts to make someone else’s’ life better. They start soup kitchen, food drives, battered women and homeless shelters, teach the illiterate, volunteer to be companions to the elderly, take toys to children at Christmas, start clothing drives, fundraisers, benefits and sometimes simply find one person who is down and dejected and share a smile and a hug.

What is your way of being or honoring an everyday hero? How will you observe this day of remembrance?

Share your thoughts and stories by commenting on this blog.

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