Memorial Day is upon us once again, ready to usher us into summer filled days of fun and sun. Amid the barbeques, parades and picnics, it can be easy to forget the real reason we celebrate this day.
The countless men and women who have risked their lives for our nation and our freedom deserve to be recognized. Memorial Day is about remembering them and their sacrifices. It is a day when we honor our nation’s heroes.
And although, the day specifically celebrates our military, it is truly meant to be a celebration of all of our heroes, military and otherwise.
Heroes can come from all walks of life, all ages and all sizes. One doesn’t have to look far to find the heroes among us.
I think about all those people who rushed to the site of the bombings at the Boston marathon, without regard to their own safety and well-being. I think of the ordinary man who helped the missing Cleveland women escape from their captor. I think of the first responders to crises and natural disasters -- our police, our firefighters. I even think of my own friend, who jumped up to save the life of someone who was choking as we sat at a cafe.
All of these people took action when it would be easy to sit back and do nothing. They thought not of themselves, but of others, of people they didn’t even know. Their courage and bravery is to be commended and celebrated.
So this Memorial Day, I urge you to think of each hero in your own life. Maybe that person is family member in the military, a teacher who really made a difference, a parent or sibling who helped you believe in yourself, or a friend whose kind words helped you through a difficult time.
Think of them as well on this Memorial Day, and honor them along with our military heroes, for they have all played a part in making this country great.
And not only that, I urge you to be a hero to others. Strive to improve the lives of those around you, whether that be through a polite gesture to a stranger, kind words to a family member, or a simple smile given to those you come across.
No act is too big or too small to make a positive difference in another person’s life. And that’s what being a hero is all about.
So thank you to all those military men and women who have served our country, and thank you to all those who act as heroes to others. You give me hope for the future!