Honoring my father-in-law and all veterans
Memorial Day ushers in our summer with BBQ’s, the Colonial golf tournament down the street from my office, and a relaxing 3-day weekend. Most of us may not stop to think about what it cost to obtain our care-free summer days. But we should never take them for granted.
Millions of soldiers fought and hundreds of thousands died so that we could live in the greatest country in the history of the world. You may forget this until you watch gut-wrenching movies like “Saving Private Ryan,” “Dunkirk,” or others that show you the incredible sacrifices they made.
I am proud that my father-in-law, Samuel Rubinton, served four years in World War II as a Lieutenant Colonel. And incredibly, he worked his way up from a private! He was awarded several military honors for valor for his work behind enemy lines and is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery. I never had the privilege to meet this fine man, as he died many years before I married my wonderful wife 30 years ago this August, but wish that I had.
Despite our differing beliefs and opinions, we can still rally together as families, friends, and as a single nation on Memorial Day in remembrance and gratitude.
While it is essential that we thank today’s military personnel for their service, Memorial Day honors military servicemen and women who are no longer with us. We pause on Monday to think about all the lives that were given so that we could live in a democracy founded on freedom.
Where you can observe Memorial Day
Below are ways you can honor our veterans in here North Texas:
Other places that honor our veterans around the country include these sites:
- Arlington National Cemetery and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Arlington Virginia);
- Bunker Hill Monument (Boston, Massachusetts);
- Boston Massacre Site (Boston, Massachusetts);
- Vietnam Veterans and Women’s Memorials (Washington, D.C.);
- Gettysburg National Military Park (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania);
- Korean War Veterans Memorial (Washington, D.C.);
- Liberty Memorial (Kansas City, Missouri); and
- USS Arizona Memorial (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Interesting Facts About Memorial Day
Memorial Day started during the Civil War. Women in Pennsylvania placed flowers on Union graves after the Battle of Gettysburg in 1864 and the next year women did this for their Confederate soldiers in Mississippi.
Towns began holding observances which led to a Union general setting aside the day of May 30, 1868 as a tribute to the fallen. President Ulysses S. Grant spoke at the ceremony which took place on his adversary’s, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s plantation. It had been converted to the Arlington National Cemetery.
Several states, including Texas, still celebrate a Memorial Day honoring Confederate soldiers.
Thank you soldiers
Many people are proud to toast servicemen and women on Memorial Day. However, before you tip your head to a soldier and say, “Thanks for your service,” you should understand who Memorial Day really honors. Men like Sam Rubinton.
So this weekend, when you pull out your grill and get your friends and family together, share a toast to thank all the men and women who served so that we can all relish living in this amazing country.