Make this Memorial Day one to remember

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This Memorial Day Weekend, many of us will enjoy time with family and friends. Some of us will grill, go to the beach or enjoy leisure time. It's essential to take time away from work to rebalance and recalibrate. While we’re at it, how about we recalibrate the very notion of Memorial Day itself?

Memorial Day began not as a leisure holiday but as a commemoration for the soldiers who had given their lives during the Civil War. A day of reflection on the human cost of a war fought right here, on domestic soil, with staggering losses that devastated families for generations. Memorial Day was set aside as an essential time to mourn as one nation with the altruistic hope to once again unite the United States of America.

Unfortunately, as humans do, we forget hard lessons learned by generations before. The meaning of Memorial Day has become as diluted as picnic lemonade with ice, left out in the sun. While there are still parades and ceremonies in small towns around the country, they are becoming fewer and farther between.

Regardless, I fear the true soul of Memorial Day has become as lost as the spirit of our polarized nation. Hate crimes. Mass shootings. Fear and anger are everywhere. The political divides between people across the globe, nations, and even our communities, feel more profound than ever. Feels overwhelming at times. So I suggest my favorite (add)ventures’ guiding principle as advice: “Simplify complexity for humanity.”

To help heal our nation, start simply. Be kind. Have empathy. Listen more than you rant, and keep an open mind. On Memorial Day, remember that we are all in this nation together, and nothing great will come from us tearing it apart again. And again.

There is no greater sacrifice than putting your life on the line to protect the people you love and the freedom we cherish. Each veteran who has died in the name of this great nation, and every person who has sacrificed their life in service to others, deserves their own story of honor and remembrance.

So please, enjoy Memorial Day this year and every year, but I beg that you take just a tiny moment to consider the human truth behind the commemoration. People are capable of incredible bravery and sacrifice every day, and that is worth remembering, as are fallen souls who should never be forgotten.

— Steve Rosa, CEO + Founder