Let me preface this entry with a disclaimer: my purpose is not to offend anyone. But it seems as though too many people don’t understand the point of Memorial Day. This is not a day to honor our troops. That’s Veteran’s Day in November. Memorial Day is the day to remember those who gave their lives in service to our country, and while veterans do make up the majority, I would argue that this extends beyond the military to include firefighters, police officers, and even teachers.
Again, I’m not disrespecting the sacrifice of those who have served, but this holiday is called Memorial Day for a reason. It’s when we are supposed to remember those who gave their lives in service to others. There is no greater sacrifice one can make for their country, and today, we are supposed to keep their memories alive. Last night during the race, time after time, the announcers and drivers honored our troops and thanked them for their service. While there’s nothing wrong with that, not once did I hear them articulate the true meaning of this holiday.
My uncle, Jimmy Fulford, was murdered in the line of duty as a Florida State Trooper. He was killed by a bomb hidden in a microwave meant for a drug dealer’s ex-girlfriend who knew too much. Jimmy was a great man, respected so much that thousands attended his funeral and thousands more lined the roadside to pay their respects. He gave his life patrolling a lonely stretch of highway on a quiet Sunday morning. Today, I honor his memory by thanking him for his sacrifice. He was a good father, a good trooper, and a good man, and he left this world much too young. Thank you, Jimmy. May you rest in peace.