Memorial Day. I love this annual holiday. It is the unofficial kick off of summer, and there are never too many barbecues, sunny days, and happy voices for me to tire of this oncoming hot, sweaty, shorts and sandals season. But more than the joy that accompanies evenings of winking fireflies and waves crashing on vacation shores, I have memories of those people who filled my life with humor and purpose; people who set before me the goals of honor, integrity, and commitment simply by living out their lives doing the best they could. There is not a single memory of holidays back in my little valley home that does not include each of them fulfilling their part in the family tapestry of love.
And there is more. There is the sacred part of this day which forever draws me to the history, recent and distant, of those who also are part of the we of me; my ancestors who participated in every conflict fought here, and in foreign lands, since the Revolutionary War.
I do not know how brave they once felt, how scared they might have been in battle, or how they died. I do know they loved their country, proudly wore the uniform of that to which they were devoted, and saluted their flag with dignity and honor.
All this is legacy. It is the legacy which was passed to me, and which I have passed to my children. We humbly remember on Memorial Day what it cost to be here, celebrating another year of freedom in this country. And with our social compasses pointed north, our plumb line straight and true, I believe there still will be an enduring legacy for passing on to future generations.