For many, holidays are viewed as little more than a legitimate opportunity for them to be released from their work duties. However, the truth of the matter is that most Holidays such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, and Christmas should be viewed as something far and above a day absent work duties. There is no doubt that Memorial Day should be held with a similar reverence.
Today we celebrate ‘Memorial Day’ on the last Monday of May. It was a day that was originally called ‘Decoration Day’ and used as a moment for our entire nation to honor those brave servicemen and servicewomen of every background who gave their lives for the cause of freedom, justice, and democracy for American citizens.
There is often a nasty undertone to be found within this nation when conversations turn to the question of African-American contributions to this nation. Many uninformed Americans will charge that African-Americans have not contributed anything to this nation at any point in their existence. They could not be more incorrect if they attempted to be.
A day such as Memorial Day should be definitive proof to all of the extreme sacrifices that African-American servicemen and servicewomen made for the principles of freedom and democracy that this nation stands upon; ironically, African-American service personnel made sacrifices for such principles even when they and anyone who looked like them were not allowed to exercise such privileges.
Considering that African-American service personnel gave their lives for the idea of American principles while fully recognizing that they would not be permitted to enjoy these principles that should serve as definitive proof to all that they are undoubtedly the greatest believers in American democracy. Put simply, African-American servicemen and servicewomen are the truest Americans that one would ever find as they fought for American principles knowing that they would not be permitted to partake in them.
This sacrifice is found everywhere that one looks in this nation’s history from the American Revolution through World War II when this nation was still protecting its principles via a Jim Crow segregated military. During each and every conflict, African-American servicemen and servicewomen carry an unusually heavy burden upon their shoulders as they are required by the U.S. Government to defend this nation’s principles against all opponents and also feel the demands of the race to represent us well as their performance, particularly if it is a weak performance, will reflect upon the entire race. The African-American community demanded, even more than whites, that Black service personnel represent the race well wherever they were deployed around the globe.
There is no doubt that African-American servicemen and servicewomen who have not only served in the U.S. Military served admirably, but also many of them paid the ultimate price for freedom, justice, and democracy by giving their lives for the cause.
It is on their shoulders that we stand.
So on this Memorial Day, please take a few moments and honor their sacrifice for OUR NATION. This Memorial Day should not be considered an opportunity to be lazy, in truth it is not our day at all, it is a day set aside to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
And today I salute you for that ultimate sacrifice.
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