This spring, I traveled to Europe in an effort to learn more about our country’s history, specifically the events and battles in which we participated during World War II.
Gazing out from the reinforced window of this German bunker on the beaches of Normandy, with a view marred by copious amounts of barbed wire, I engaged in a role reversal of sorts. I was able to see where my late American brothers stood before me. They were faced with an insurmountable task: scaling a sheer cliff under a barrage of heavy artillery fire. Armed with only basic munitions, each group of soldiers was expected to fire grappling hook and then scale the sheer face of the cliff with only the assistance of a rope-ladder.
After standing in this German bunker and learning about the turmoil faced by the American soldiers in World War II, I began to reflect upon the great sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces throughout history and in modern day. Summer brings numerous patriotic holidays. Some take these days only as escapes from their day-to-day routines, enjoying barbeques and other festivities. However, that is not the true intent of these holidays.
Memorial Day is a day during which we honor those who have fallen in service to our country. It is a day of respect and remembrance. Just as I stood on the beaches of Normandy and solemnly remembered those brave American soldiers who died in World War II, so will current soldiers take pause and remember their fallen comrades-in-arms. It is the least we can do to take a few minutes out of our routine to be still and simply think of and honor those who currently serve, and those who have died defending America.