I absolutely plan to fire up the grill later today, as I have every day this weekend. Today, however, I’m not going to share a recipe for burgers or a picture of my grill. Instead, I pause to reflect on why we all have this day off from work.
Yesterday, my two oldest boys – who are cub scouts – and I took part in a tradition that goes back to 1865 when we visited Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery to place flags by each and every stone – all 150,000 of them. It’s a beautiful and powerful way to spend your afternoon for sure.
In one of his last acts as President, Abraham Lincoln ordered flags be put at the graves of all fallen Civil War soldiers, for while we were fighting against each other, we were still brothers and sisters of this great country. So it was said, so it was done, and has been done every year since.
For those of you in St. Louis, I encourage you to take a quick drive through Jefferson Barracks today. It’s a moving sight to see all of those flags. For everyone across the country, if there is a National Cemetery in your area, leave a little early for that BBQ party and swing by. These are the graves of the men and women and their families who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Tomorrow, more BBQ. Today, respect and appreciation.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day, everyone.