Memorial Day – Honoring the Sacrifice

Remembering History - Memorial Day
Honoring Veterans – Today and Always

Memorial Day: The Greatest Sacrifice

Memorial Day is intended to honor those Veterans who sacrificed their lives for our country, our values and our way of life. There can be no greater selfless sacrifice than dying for your country and what you believe in.  Since life is the greatest gift ever given, we should not as the benefactors of that sacrifice take such an act for granted.  Consider what moved these Veterans to act on our behalf and how much they loved our country to do so.  When reflecting on that sacrifice for a moment today, consider also the surviving mothers, fathers, siblings, spouses and children of those who died in the service of their country.  Their loss is personal and enormous with too many lives forever changed by the absence of the fallen Veteran.  They too deserve our thoughts, prayers and respect.

Let’s Not Forget Our Wounded Warriors

Finally, we should also extend our gratitude and compassion to those Veterans who returned from the battlefield but have been permanently changed as a result, either physically, mentally or emotionally.  These wounded warriors have endured unthinkable injuries that cannot be minimized whether it be a lost limb, disability or the silent but very real injury that is PTSD. Besides taking a moment to personally thank any Veteran you may see in the future, if you do only one thing going forward, please watch the following acclaimed documentary “That Which I Love Destroys Me” from recent Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  By watching this intense and very personal documentary, you will get a glimpse into the everyday psyche of returning Veterans, their struggles and their will to survive.  The battlefield scars these Veterans have, both external and internal, are real and very deep.  They have given so much for us, now it is our turn to give back and help them.

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About Patrick Russell

Director and oral historian for the Making History Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Veteran stories for future generations. Resides in Miami, Florida, where he is a full-time mediator and has been a practicing lawyer since 1994. Proudly serves as a staff member for the University of Florida Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, in addition to being a member of the Oral History Association, American Historical Association; Friends and Family of the 508 P.I.R.; and the Battle of the Bulge Association. Graduated from Marquette University with a B.A. in Political Science, and a law degree from the University of Miami School of Law. Additional courses and workshops for oral history and museum studies have been taken at Baylor University and Harvard University, Harvard Extension School. Contact info: (305) 608-2977 or

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