Memorial Day week end feels like the real beginning of summer.

And our weather here in MN feels like summer too.  It’s rather nice, actually.  When we left Naples a few days ago the weather was hovering near 90 every day so having it in the 80’s here is perfect.  But what’s important about the holiday is that we are remembering those who gave their lives in service for our country.  The first official observance was in Waterloo, Iowa in 1866 but the previous year, formerly enslaved blacks observed it following the Civil War in South Carolina.

I find it amazing that we can put our differences aside, as is generally the case,  for a holiday such as this one but we encourage them to rear their ugly heads the other days of the year.  I have written about the rampant incivility throughout the country in previous blogs and I only mention it again here because I think we simply must put our differences aside, as a nation, if we want to honestly tackle the problems that are facing us as a people.  Big problems, indeed.  The oil spill is only the latest of them and pointing fingers at who is to blame isn’t really plugging the hole.  Discovering who failed to do what should have been done prior to the drilling will no doubt  be investigated.  For now, let’s all get behind those who are trying, in their way, to perform a service of another kind for our nation.

There are many ways to do service.  Deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan is one way.  But working to make our schools better is another.  Getting involved in the political process by evaluating what the candidates are really saying shouldn’t be overlooked either.  And then something as simple as offering to help some one who is elderly cross a street or open a door or carry groceries to a car are all other service activities of significant importance.

The real message of Memorial Day is get involved.  At some level “show up” in the lives of others.  Let them know you see them, you honor them and you want to lessen whatever pain they may be feeling in this life.  When any one of us does one tiny thing to help some one else, the good is multiplied the world over. Amazing but true.


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