Memorial Day – back when I was born it was always May 30th not the last Monday in May. May 30th is also my birthday which is now known as “Traditional” Memorial Day, since the government made the changes to ensure a three-day weekend to start the summer.

I’ve always wondered if one of the reasons for my strong patriotism along with the love of our country and respect for the military sacrifices so many have made has to do with me being born on this day. Regardless of the reason I feel all Americans need to remember the reason for this holiday. It is so much more than just the “Start of Summer”.

According to History.com Memorial Day originated in the years following The Civil War. Memorial Day is a day in which many visit cemeteries to remember our fallen. Others go to parades to honor the fallen and those that fought along side of them.

It has been said in The Bible, John Chapter 15, Verse 13 “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Now comprehend how many have made that ultimate sacrifice for you, your family, your friends, and your fellow countrymen. The number is staggering.

The number of Americans that have paid the ultimate price is over 1.3 million per militaryfactory.com. And this does not include the millions more that have suffered both physical and mental disabilities. Unfortunately these numbers are only through 2012 and don’t include the many others that were killed in action since then. That’s an astounding sacrifice that has been made by people you didn’t even know.

As a birthday present to me I ask that while you are enjoying a long weekend with family and friends – that you take a moment of silence to pray for the fallen and reflect that without their sacrifice you would not be where you are today.

How do we keep from others having to pay the ultimate price? I leave you with this –

It has been said that if the children of the world’s politicians were the first into battle war would not exist.

Cary Michael Cox