Backyard BBQs and other events Americans celebrate with family and friends are appropriate ways to honor Memorial Day and remember what our nation’s military heroes did for us—died for us. After all, we are here to appreciate and enjoy our families, friends, and freedom because they are not.
I’d like to suggest two other simple ways we can honor America’s fallen warriors this Memorial Day. Most especially, we need to share the true meaning of this national holiday with our children and young people. Sadly, America’s education system doesn’t do a great job of teaching our kids why Americans are free to enjoy their liberty and pursue their happiness. These benefits, too often taken for granted, were hard-won by our forebears and are preserved by today’s patriots.
Watch “Taking Chance,” a stirring movie based on a true story. It follows Marine Corps Lt. Colonel Michael Strobl who volunteers to escort a fallen Marine, Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, to his family home in Wyoming. Kevin Bacon is stellar in conveying the poignant nature of his sacred mission. Incidentally, I recently wrote about a fallen soldier flight, which brought the movie to mind.
And read Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton’s Hillsdale College speech, Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery. Senator Cotton is a decorated U.S. Army officer who speaks reverently about his service in the Old Guard, performing funerals and other honors at the cemetery.
Among his tantalizing anecdotes, Sen. Cotton delivers a fascinating and necessary history lesson. Just one example: The Old Guard is “the oldest active-duty infantry regiment in the Army, dating back to 1784.” Sen. Cotton tells us how America remembers its war dead, honoring each of them with an unfailing military precision shown equally from privates to presidents.