A Life Imagined
Today is officially Memorial Day, though the
holiday was widely observed last Monday, so I
thought it a fitting occasion for a tribute to
those who have died fighting for our country.
Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday
in 1971, but the day of remembrance has been
observed since the mid-1860s. Back then, it
originated as a day in which to remember the fallen
soldiers of the Civil War by decorating their
graves with flowers, but the holiday has since
expanded to embrace the soldiers and sailors who
gave their lives in all wars.
Memorial Day tributes often tell the stories of
individual men and women who made the ultimate
sacrifice. Heroes are remembered, battles
recounted, bravery honored. We should not forget
the thousands, the millions, who have died
protecting our country since 1776. But in my
opinion, remembering them is not enough.
Those who fought and died for our country
believed in the ideals for which it
standsenough so to give their lives. They
gave up their dreams, their plans, their potential,
so that we all could pursue ours. Remembering their
sacrifices on Memorial Day is important, but the
only way to truly honor their deaths is to seize
life, to live up to our fullest possibilities.
Henry David Thoreau said, "Go confidently in the
direction of your dreams, live the life you have
imagined." These words are as good a rule to live
by as anybetter than most, in fact. To
shuffle through life, to stand around the time
clock waiting for one's life to happen, is a waste
of one's gifts by any standard. But when put into
perspective by thinking about what countless people
gave up so that we could be free to pursue our
potential, it seems downright shameful.
I should know; I feel like I've done my fair
share of idling in recent years. In many ways, I
lost my momentum, to paraphrase my father. But I'm
taking the first tentative steps toward creating
the life I have long imagined. It's no easy task,
certainly easier said than done, especially in
these hard economic times. Nevertheless, I'm slowly
regaining my momentum, exploring my potential once
again. The future looks bright.
Those who died to preserve our freedoms gave up
their chance so that we would have ours. After you
pause to remember their sacrifices today, think
about your own life. Have you taken your chance?
Are you living the life you imagined?
Strickland ALL RIGHTS
What is "The Daily Strick"?
I have long called
myself a writer, but too often I don't do
what a writer must do daily: write. So
you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of
my resolution to make a positive change in
at least one area of my life. Every single
day of this new year (almost), I will
write something, anything, and post it
here. It is my intention to use this daily
exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant
creative energies, and perhaps generate
some worthwhile material this year.
Hopefully you will find at least an
occasional amusement or insight in my
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