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Op-ed

A lesson in the midst of the pandemic: The lockdown may stop parades and parties, but it can't stop the importance of Memorial Day

A unique opportunity

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"Happy Memorial Day!"

It's a line we've all likely said.

After all, there are parades to attend and bar-b-cued ribs to eat and picnics to put out and furniture sales to discover and blowouts at car dealerships to explore and summer travel plans to start enjoying.

Well, there were anyway.

The pandemic changed that for us.

Maybe that's a good thing — not economically, not as good public policy, of course, but maybe because ... well ... we're getting a chance to focus on what today really means.

"Happy Memorial Day" isn't an offensive line, but it is a bit strange in light of what today is.

We, as a people, have decided to set aside a day to remember a special strain of our citizenry — heroes who sacrificed everything for the country they served, the people they loved, and the principles they held dear.

They were willing to give their last full measure of devotion. What are we willing to give or give up?

Today, we get to offer our respect without as many things getting in the way.

Today, we can more clearly remember — if we're willing — that we have a duty, too.

It's our job to defend freedom and liberty, to love our country, to cherish our loved ones, to stand by our principles.

We've not been asked to die for those things ... yet. And most of us haven't volunteered to.

Today, we thank God for those men and women who have.

And today — on a Memorial Day like no other, during a time like no other — we've got a chance to do it well.

This year, the lockdown is giving us an opportunity with fewer distractions to truly consider what this day means and how it should impact our own behavior as Americans.

It would be a shame if we wasted this chance to be better because we were busy complaining about not getting the last bratwurst or missing a really good deal at the mall.

One last thing…
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