Each year on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 3d U.S. Infantry places small American flags at each of the more than 350,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. What is more is that someone will patrol the cemetery 24 hours a day all weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.
Memorial Day is a moment for us to call to memory the cost of our freedom. Lives. Real lives. Real people who left home and never returned. Real kids who grew up only knowing stories of their hero mom or dad. Real parents who buried their children.
Memorial Day is not just a day to eat BBQ or kick off summer or hang out at the pool. It is a day to remember that someone died providing us the freedom to be able to do those things.
Liberty is expensive. Memorial Day protects us from forgetting that. In that spirit I want to give you a couple of wise truths we can take away from Memorial Day.
Learn lessons from yesterday.
As a nation we need days like Memorial Day to stop us and force us to recall what our country was built on. Leaders need the same thing. We are compelled by those lost on battlefields to make our nation and ourselves better. May we heed the voices of the brave who went before us echoing in our hearts today reminding us to pause and reflect. Moving at warp speed is great for productivity, but wears on your soul. We would do well to remember why we lead. We lead to make the lives of people better. That is our why. Carve out some minutes every day to ground yourself in that reality. Slow down, press pause and reflect.
Create better tomorrows.
Rather than settling for status quo, leaders fight to improve what they are given. Our country was born out of a vision for something better. Freedom is still fueled by that vision. We honor those who have gone before us with our drive to make tomorrow better than today. In your circle of influence how are you improving? Where are you taking your company? How can your family be stronger? What will you introduce to your church that will allow it thrive in the next generation? Live for something bigger than today. Allow your leadership to serve as a platform for the future.
I hope you enjoy today. By all means, embrace your family and allow it to be restful. Eat BBQ, go to the pool, kick off the greatest summer of your life. Just take some minutes to reflect on why you are able to do those things and more.
Happy Memorial Day.