Turns out, now that I read what Google fed me, that it's pretty obvious. Memorial Day honors the vets who died in combat or from wounds received in combat. Veterans Day honors the living who served or are currently serving our country.
I feel quite lucky to say that I have not lost any loved ones due to war. My father served in Vietnam and from time to time he would share stories of war with me. He witnessed the death of fellow soldiers, friends, first hand. I type that sentence but can't even really imagine the impact of it's truth. I can't imagine standing next to another human being, a friend, as a bullet takes their life; witnessing their last breath; helpless. The things these men and women endure is beyond my scope of understanding.
Our soldiers certainly deserve this day of remembrance. Sadly, those currently serving do not get the day off. They do not get to enjoy a day with their families, barbecuing. Theirs is a 24/7 job. So, while we all go about our day today, no matter how we're spending this Memorial Day, we should each take a moment to think about our soldiers...both alive and those killed in service.
And on a lighter, final, note...congratulations to Ryan Hunter Reay for a tremendous and well-deserved win!
"The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."
- Douglas MacArthur
"I know that I'm already in the history books and that people are going to remember me as the prisoner of war and the fabricated stories, but you know, to me I was just another soldier over there doing my job."
- Jessica Lynch