I seem to often get Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day mixed up. Aren’t they both primarily to recognize our American soldiers? I think maybe it is time to broaden the concept of one of those days. We need to recognize others outside our military who provide us with valuable services. That is what this post is all about.
Just what is the definition of “memorial”? Isn’t it as shown here to recognize meritorious service to our community. Surely no one can argue that meritorious service is provided only by our soldiers. Shouldn’t we be also recognizing others on this day? When I look at it, our soldiers stationed on the other side of the world dealing with local conflicts of one type or another just don’t seem to be providing an essential service to me. Looking back, I personally can’t even see that any foreign war or military conflict in my lifetime that has really done much to ensure our safety here at home. I could try to list all of those conflicts starting with the Korean conflict up to I guess Afganistan but I would surely miss one or two if I tried to do that.
Let’s look at some others who perform meritorious service.
Law Enforcement Officers – This group includes local and State police and FBI agents who directly protect the homeland on a daily basis. They, like the military, constantly put their lives at risk. One in 6,000 law enforcement officers were killed on duty last year compared to one in 33,000 in the military. Don’t they deserve our recognition for meritorious service on Memorial Day?
Teachers – Another group also needs to be recognized for their meritorious service is our teachers. If you don’t believe they are on the front lines then you don’t know a teacher or have heard their stories. I believe teachers are the most dedicated group of those who provide us valuable services. They are highly trained yet only make about 60% of what those who have similar educations make more in the private sector. Given the number of teachers who have been slain due to gun violence in our schools they just might deserve recognition for that alone! Why not recognize their service on Memorial Day too?
Victims of Drunk/Drugged Drivers – While the specific statistics are hard to come by, I’m pretty sure people killed by drunk or drugged drivers rivals those killed in the military. While many of those killed maybe didn’t provide meritorious service to the community their deaths are just as tragic and should also be remembered on Memorial Day.
In the same but not direct vein, why do victims of certain tragedies get humungous compensation while those in other tragedies get virtually nothing? All of the families of the 9/11 victims are now multi-millionaires while the family of the guy killed by a drunk driver has to fend for themselves? Isn’t that somehow saying one death is more important than the other?
So, to all the people serving in law enforcement, and teaching and the many other professions in addition to the military that provide meritorious service to us on a daily basis