Honor the Fallen

Every Memorial Day the Soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) plant a flag in front of each grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery, Va. The flags represent our thanks for their service to our nation, the sacrifices they made and the blood they shed, regardless of their own backgrounds or faiths. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jose A. Torres, Jr.)

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and it is a weekend to celebrate. So don’t let the solumenty of the event stop you from enjoying the weekend.

Especially if the weather is fine.

Because the long and short truth of it is, our fallen family would want us too. They would be enjoying it right along with us if they were here, and we do no honor to their memories by being too uptight, to critical, or to harsh at reminding others of “what the weekend is really about!”

So, Veterans, don’t get mad when someone thanks us for our service this weekend. Don’t make a self righteous post on social media admonishing the blithering idiot masses of their ignorance of the holiday… you look like a tool. Stop.

Take the thanks and gently remind them that this weekend is for the Honored Dead. Smile, and humbly accept that praise you know is for the fallen, for those fallen aren’t there to accept it. You are their arbiter, you are their representative, you are their greatest living symbols in the world. You are their comrades, their friends, their family. You are their best advocates, so be the best.

Remember your fallen, remember all the fallen and pour one out for them. Party hard and safe and free. Do what you know you would be spending the time with them on. Kicking back, grilling, shopping, hitting the water for one of the first times this year, or whatever else it is that you lived to do with those great people we have lost.

Visit them, pour one beside them, keep your rituals and your solumentiy.

But most of all…

Enjoy your weekend.

Keith is the Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Group editor@gatdaily.com A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. A Certified Instructor since 2009 he has taught concealed weapons courses in the West Michigan area in the years since and continues to pursue training and teaching opportunities as they arise.