It seems that in this day and age we are a society driven by instant gratification and plagued with short term memory. What ‘sells’ on the news and in print are stories about the impending nuptials of stars (reality or actual celebrity) or the death of a celebrity (many times due to their own addictions), not stories regarding how many soldiers were lost that day or even that week. Sports stars are being labeled as heroes merely for putting a ball into a net or carrying it over a goal line. It is Sensationalism VS. Realism and reality is certainly the victim in this scenario.
The fact remains that more than 7,000 American service members (Male and Female) have been killed since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and well over 50,000 have been injured. Many of those injuries so severe, that if they were sustained in a prior conflict the soldier would not have survived. Our nation has been entered in many conflicts. The loss and injury numbers are staggering. As years go by our country and its citizens seems to hold less regard for those who sacrifice so much defending it and protecting the very freedom enjoyed by all.
Back to Reality: The reality of it all is that what has become ‘important’ is really not reality at all. The shift in what has ‘meaning ‘has come down to where the money is rather than where the morality is. It has become more important to plug a non-talent reality star’s wedding than Medal of Honor recipient (former) Army Sgt. Kyle J. White , especially on Memorial DayWeekend? Has Memorial Day become more about the sales in the stores, the Barbeques and the beer? Does anyone actually know the real meaning of Memorial Day? Who takes the time to go to a National or Veteran Cemetery to pay respects or place a flag? Not many. This needs to change.
The Dina Parise Racing team has had the honor on a few occasions to participate in ‘Fleet Week’ at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York. It is a breathtaking place to be no matter the time of year. Fleet Week happens to fall during Memorial Day Weekend .The team has met people from all over the world. One woman from Sweden really hit the nail on the head with what she said. She asked “What is this Holiday? I see Red, White and Blue everywhere. There are sales in all the stores, but I do not understand what the Holiday is. Can you explain it to me?” Our DPR team obliged. ‘ Memorial Day is a US federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered.’ But are they?The unfortunate reality to that is it seems the younger generation has the same question. We need to bring back the importance of this and all the Veteran holidays because the honor has been earned.
Now, of courseno one is saying do not have a ‘Welcome Summer’ Barbeque, or do not go shopping for that perfect pair of sandals. The point is, to remember why you can do all of these things you are doing with such ease. Take a moment to reflect. If you see a Veteran, thank them. Take you children to a National Cemetery to place a flag or have them volunteer in a VA home. Giving back to those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom is not too much to ask.
Always remember Freedom is not Free…… Hate the war, not the warrior…. Fly your flag proudly!
On another note….. the DPR team will be seeing you all out there soon! More to come shortly!
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Story and Photos by DPR