Following Superstorm Sandy, Merlin Law Group’s Director of Business Development, Craig Speck, kept telling me about how special Memorial Day was along the Jersey Shore. I heard the same thing from NAPIA’s current President, Chris Aldrich, who I have written about in Chris Aldrich Becomes President of NAPIA, and New Jersey attorney Larry Bathgate, who greatly influenced me to become heavily involved with Superstorm Sandy, as noted in Fooled ‘Em Again–New Jersey Bar Welcomes Chip Merlin.

Craig Speck, Larry Bathgate, Chris Aldrich
Craig Speck, Larry Bathgate, Chris Aldrich

Larry Bathgate just turned 85 years old and is still practicing law. I was thinking about him, Craig, Chris, and the Jersey Shore Memorial Day festivities, and this comment I wrote 11 years ago in Memorial Day and a Memorable Insurance Case From New Jersey:

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.

. . .

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, living or dead.

I grew up in a military family, and I know that my father and sister would want me to remind everyone about the special significance Memorial Day has. I mentioned this in Remembering Coast Guard Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro:

Our heroes and leaders can come from all kinds of life circumstances. Memorial Day is specifically reserved for mourning those in the United States military who have died while serving us. I encourage each of us to pause for a moment to reflect upon someone who has made the ultimate sacrifice to protect democracy and our freedom.

Let’s take a moment today to remember those that died in the service of our military and especially those who did it valiantly without great rank and just doing their job.

Thought For The Day

If you are able, save them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind.
—Major Michael Davis O’Donnell