Memorial Day 2019 – Take Time to Remember and Honor
It is once again the time of year when we take time to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Millions of American’s have died while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day became a Federal holiday in 1971 and evolved from a tradition called Decoration Day that began after the Civil War. For more on the history of Memorial Day, read this article on History.com. From this article, I learned that on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.
I had the honor of serving in the U.S. Army as a trumpet player in the band. An important part of my duty was to play Taps at military funerals and ceremonies. It was a great honor to be a part of the service honoring the brave men and women of the armed forces. In fact, I considered it the most important part of my job. It was a privilege to play Taps whether in a small cemetery in rural South Carolina or at the beginning of the Memorial Day Parade in Atlanta.
Day is done, Gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hill,
From the sky.
All is well, Safely rest,
God is nigh.
Take time this Memorial Day to remember and honor those who have gone before us.
Graduations and New Beginnings
It is that time of year when high school and college students reach the end of one part of their journey and begin the next. Commencement means to begin. A wonderful piece of wisdom from Mr. Rogers states that the end of one thing is the beginning of something new. For High School graduates the question is what next? Many will have plans to go to college while others will join the military, look for a first job, or undergo some kind of career training as an apprentice or enrollment at a vocational school. There is an expectation today that college is required and that everyone should go. This is unfortunate as each person’s journey is unique. More time and effort needs to be spent during the high school years discovering talents and interests and looking at all the options.
Too many students are leaving college with huge amounts of debt, a “ball and chain” that will slow them down for years. Depending on your choice of major, you may or may not earn enough to pay back your student loans. To you recent High School grads I say look at all of your options and think about your future goals. Plan carefully to lay a foundation for future success.
When I think of the word sustainability my first thought is about the environment. Throughout history in our rush to extract wealth from our planet, we have rushed forward without much thought to the end results. Even with government regulation, profit is often placed before the planet. Developed nations look at developing areas and see that many of these countries are repeating our mistakes. Deforestation and pollution continue to devastate parts of our planet. Globalization has been a blessing and a curse. Yes, it has resulted in shelves full of low priced products, but at the same time has led to industrialization without regulation in many developing countries.
Fortunately, evidence shows that action can reverse the ill effects of pollution. The remarkable comeback of the Bald Eagle population shows that regulation and community action can be successful in improving the environment.
Let’s keep doing our best to improve the environment and save our planet!