What Memorial Day Means to Me

May 21, 2020 10:11:48 AM / by Carl Kisner

Meaning of Memorial Day

Normandy, where my Great Uncle is laid to rest


I thought it was important to take the time to write down my thoughts on Memorial Day, especially at this time when our minds are focused on our future. Our country is slowly starting to heal, and for many, it can feel like the way back is a long way off. Because of this, I've been thinking about Memorial Day, and I wanted to put down on paper what it means to me.


I've been in a proud family of those who gave service to this country. My grandfather served in the Army. My father served in the Air Force, and my great uncle lost his life in World War II. Their commitment to service and willingness to sacrifice drove me to serve in the Air Force, as well.


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I don't have a great war story. Many who know me hear me talk about my time as a fire fighter in the Air Force, never actually putting out a fire. I cling to the thought of great men and women who have done unthinkable things and have given the ultimate price -- every day I live. It actually gives me joy to know the life I live is precious, and I am one of the luckiest people on this Earth to be born in this country. I know it's not perfect, and yes, we have our flaws, but the principle of what this republic is also gives me the most hope that we have the strength to heal ourselves.


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I'd also like to take a moment to give a different idea on what Memorial Day will mean to me going forward. Military service is not the only fight that deserves our thanks and recognition during our current fight. COVID-19 has taken many of our greatest nurses, doctors, and other frontline professionals as they fight to save others, not to ensure freedom, but our very existence and way of life.


We are at home while others are working on a vaccine and developing a treatment for this virus. They are on the front lines, and some have dealt with limited resources like many of the men and women we are celebrating this weekend.


So, as we give thanks and remember those that have fallen in the military, also take a moment to remember those who have lost their lives in this war. If you know a healthcare worker or a doctor, make sure you thank them for their service. Give an extra tip to the Door Dash guy. Say thanks to the school nutrition professionals who are still keeping our kids fed. Remember the restaurant workers trying to feed you with carryout. And be kind to the person ringing up your groceries, because right now, they are all in service to our country.


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Carl Kisner

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