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Memorial Day 2023

Memorial Day 2023 – A Moment of Contemplation Here on the Suncoast

| Angela Naff |

Memorial Day is a federal holiday dedicated to remembering US military personnel who died while in service of our country. We gratefully remember the men, women, brothers, sisters, wives, uncles, and others who made the ultimate sacrifice for those of us they never met. Each person that perished in such a way is owed a debt for the sacrifices they made that paved the way for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Memorial Day originated in the Civil War conflict, originally called Decoration Day, as it was when the graves of the fallen were cleaned and decorated. While other holidays exist to honor active service members and even the different military branches, this day is especially sad, for it calls to mind the thousands that laid down the ultimate sacrifice. We should take this day to acknowledge the cost of our freedoms; even in the toughest of times, we possess many other opportunities that people in other countries don’t have due to the service of so many.

Memorial Day boy saluting flags

This is not a day to get involved in politics or even discuss this country’s changing dynamics. We should all bow our heads to those who pioneered our current way of life by leaving their own to uphold faith in this country greater than themselves. Gratitude to those who believed in something so much they took up the cause of freedom without knowledge of what they would be asked to give in exchange. These sacrifices allow each of us the freedom to live wherever we want, raise our voices for causes we believe in, and continue living a life with so much potential. The freedoms we enjoy are thanks to our military service members who have participated in every battle this country has fought against injustice, protecting our borders and aiding humanitarian efforts, and she is recalled no matter our unease with politicians. This is not political but something else entirely. 

We want to thank service members, families, and friends who have survived the worst outcome of enlisting a loved one in this country’s military. Always remember the families they left behind, to leap into battle and give more of themselves than most of us will be asked to sacrifice. We should all be thankful for the wonderful things we have in our lives and use the day to think of all the things we have here that are uniquely American, which wouldn’t be possible without these many selfless souls that went before us.

Service is not something you get paid for; it is something you do for reasons that are sometimes beyond the ability to communicate with words alone. Today, let’s remember to do our own acts of service to the causes we believe in, hug the ones we love, and remember all the faces of those we never met but gave us the biggest gift.

Happy Memorial Day 2023, Suncoast!

Feature Photo Courtesy of Deposit Photos

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