Who did you remember yesterday?

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Melinda and I met Harley-riding PBS superstar Peter Sagal (center) last week. He taught us why the US Constitution is great cause for celebration on Memorial Day.

Following the civil war, the final Monday in May became known as “Decoration Day” honoring the hoards of soldiers who died in our nation’s bloodiest war.  They were fighting over basic human rights not yet guaranteed in the US Constitution.

Yesterday was the final Monday in May and I was surprised to learn that “Memorial Day” wasn’t an official American holiday until 1971.  Maybe that’s because all of my life it has been the unofficial first day of summer. I didn’t grow up knowing anyone who had died that served in the US military.  I’ve never visited a grave on Memorial Day.

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Melinda and me posing with Peter Sagal. He sounds much taller on his NPR radio show: Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me.

This year I experienced the unofficial first day of summer differently. Last week Melinda and I were invited  to meet Peter Sagal, the host of Constitution USA , an impressive PBS documentary celebrating the United States Constitution. US Bank Wealth Management sponsored the documentary and they brought him back to Minneapolis for a lecture at their Ascent offices, in the US Bank headquarters.

Sagal traveled the country on his Harley asking people about their thoughts and feelings about the US Constitution: the documentary includes angry fundamentalists and also recently naturalized US Citizens who fled persecution and found their dreams in the US Constitution. At 225 years old, it’s the shortest and oldest constitution on earth — enduring intense anger and joy everyday. Through Peter Sagal’s work we discovered the US Constitution isn’t history, it’s our civic religion.

With the conditions of political in-fighting today, I wonder if contemporary civic leaders could recreate the Constitution. My father served in the Army, my father-in-law served in the Navy. We have friends who served and friends whose children are serving today. I am grateful, even if all I know how to do is say THANK YOU for defending the Constitution of the United States of America.

Good leaders make a habit of celebrating the courageous leaders who carved the path before us.  And we show respect for our freedoms with dedication, hard work and pause to say thank you.

Please share with us: who did you remember yesterday?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

8 Comments

  1. Pat Dorsey on May 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I remembered all my family members who fought in past wars…..Great grandfathers, grandfather, Uncles, my father, brothers, friends and those who are still serving including my nephews. This year I went with my daughter and her family to a “Carry the Load-Austin” event to help bring back the true meaning of Memorial Day and to “carry the load” for all those who serve and carry it for us.



  2. Pat Dorsey on May 28, 2013 at 8:50 am

    I remembered all my family members who fought in past wars…..Great grandfathers, grandfather, Uncles, my father, brothers, friends and those who are still serving including my nephews. This year I went with my daughter and her family to a “Carry the Load-Austin” event to help bring back the true meaning of Memorial Day and to “carry the load” for all those who serve and carry it for us.



  3. Jim Nelson on May 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Ellen and I have begun a tradition (now in its third year) of attending the Memorial Day ceremony at Lakewood Cemetery. It is a very moving event, and reminds us that Memorial Day is not just another day off work. Ellen’s dad served in the South Pacific during WWII and I think this makes the day and the ceremony more meaningful to us.



  4. Jim Nelson on May 28, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Ellen and I have begun a tradition (now in its third year) of attending the Memorial Day ceremony at Lakewood Cemetery. It is a very moving event, and reminds us that Memorial Day is not just another day off work. Ellen’s dad served in the South Pacific during WWII and I think this makes the day and the ceremony more meaningful to us.



  5. Paul Batz on May 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing your remembrances, I find them inspiring.



  6. Paul Batz on May 28, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Thanks for sharing your remembrances, I find them inspiring.



  7. jbedard on May 28, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I remember an uncle I never met. He died in a B-25 crash behind enemy lines in Philippines and they finally identified the remains from that crash a few years ago. Two years ago the family was finally able to have a funeral with full military honors two years ago. My Grandmother, who died in 1965, never gave up hope his return. John Croman of KARE-11 covered the story of his funeral posted a memorial of him this year on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7_hJ9FuETo&feature=youtu.be



  8. jbedard on May 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I remember an uncle I never met. He died in a B-25 crash behind enemy lines in Philippines and they finally identified the remains from that crash a few years ago. Two years ago the family was finally able to have a funeral with full military honors two years ago. My Grandmother, who died in 1965, never gave up hope his return. John Croman of KARE-11 covered the story of his funeral posted a memorial of him this year on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7_hJ9FuETo&feature=youtu.be



Leave a Comment