Ever feel like there’s an unwritten rule that whenever we write about Memorial Day that we must let all the internet keyboard cowboys out there, who may or may not really care about our veterans, know that we know the difference between Memorial Day (a day dedicated for honoring U.S. military who died while serving in the United States armed forces) and Veteran’s Day.
However, truth be told, for most of us, Memorial Day simply marks the official start of Summer, a day off work, barbecues, and mattress sales. Nothing honors a soldier who gave it all on the battlefield better than a mattress sale.
But what happens when those mattresses end up on the street? Should we only care about those who died serving our Country during active service? What about those among us who served our Country, losing the lives they once knew, coming home a shell of who they were and dying penny less and homeless after suffering from mental illness and trauma that resulted from War.
This Memorial Day when we watch our politicians wear American flag lapel pins, lay wreathes, and deliver carefully crafted patriotic speeches, we must stop and ask them “why did these men and women make the ultimate sacrifice?”. It certainly wasn’t so we could argue about Bud Light and Target being “woke”. We have veterans who have served our Country who are dying everyday on our streets. They are suffering and they believe the only solution is to put a gun to their head. That’s right, an average of 22 veterans are taking their own lives each and every day.
Currently, we are paying our Elected Officials about $174,000 per year, which is relatively insignificant when you consider the amount raised just to run for office. In 2022, $16.7 billion was spent in state and federal elections . We, “the people” are flipping the bill for them to give us ongoing lip service rather than solutions to the real problems we have in this Country. So, this Memorial Day, the best way to pay respect to those who made the ultimate sacrifice is for us to honor them by making this Country a better place to call home.