“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” ~ Calvin Coolidge
I’ve written quite a bit on Memorial Day over the years. The simple reason is that I’ve put a lot of thought into Memorial Day, and just death and sacrifice in general. My favorite place to visit whenever I am in Washington D.C. is always Arlington National Cemetary. Sometimes I would just walk for hours because there is a lonesome and reflective feel to cemeteries generally. It’s certainly present at Arlington and perhaps even more so across the pond at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetary or the Lorraine American Cemetary and Memorial in France.
Currently, our nation has a lot of problems, everybody knows that, but I’ve always had a tremendous appreciation that we live in a country that has so many buried overseas, not as conquerors but liberators. We have about 13,800 military servicemen killed during wars who are buried just in Belgium. Belgium is smaller than the size of Maryland. I hope that’s always a testament to our commitment to liberty.
I’m not going to offer up an explainer on what Memorial Day means but I do think it’s important that there is a collective understanding that it’s a day to honor those who died in military service to our country. It’s an important distinction to remember.
Below are nine articles I think worth reading over this Memorial Day. A few are mine and some aren’t. If you are looking for books, I include a link for some great books related to Memorial Day.
The things they leave behind: Artifacts from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Memorial Day: On hallowed ground
7 Great books for Memorial Day
Memorial Day and the need for sacrifice
The graves of the Marines I lost
100 years of Memorial Day commemorations