Musing on Memorial Day

Leader's LegacyFederal holidays are funny. They’re always set up with a specific purpose in mind, but people tend to do whatever they want with them. And I think that’s just fine. Honestly, I’m in that boat most of the time.

Take Memorial Day for example. Originally conceived to honor the Union soldiers of the Civil War, today it commemorates all U.S. soldiers who died while in military service. However, when I see Memorial Day Weekend approaching, I’m thankful for the respite from work, the chance to spend time with family, and the start of summer.

Part of the reason I don’t feel guilty enjoying the time off is that memorial day isn’t an annual occurrence for me. It happens every few weeks. I’m regularly humbled by the memories of family members, classmates, and others I’ve served with who lost their life in service to our country.

I don’t often visit graveyards on the last Monday in May. Instead, I usually spend the time enjoying the life and freedom that these people died to protect. That’s the way my friends would have wanted it.

They affect me on a profound level that has little to do with what’s gone on in the past or how I’m spending this weekend. The truth is they spent their life–all of it in the end–on something worthwhile, something bigger than themselves. They left personal legacies, stories that speak to those of us who still remain. And one day, we will all join them.

So the question I must ask is this: Am I living a life that will provide a worthwhile legacy? What example am I leaving behind? How am I treating my wife? my children? my friends? my coworkers? What am I providing, building, or protecting? How am I investing my gifts?

What are you doing today to provide a powerful legacy?

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