The last Monday in May, Americans observe Memorial Day. For many it’s a day off, a three-day weekend opportunity to fire up the grill, down a few cocktails with friends, watch a ball game or two and check out sales at local malls. For others it signals the unofficial kick-off of summertime. No harm in any of that. However, the real reason we observe Memorial Day is much different: It is to salute the men and women of the United States military, America’s heroic first responders who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting the freedom of his or her countrymen.
From an historical perspective, initially it was called Decoration Day, originating after the Civil War, the single most deadly war in our nation’s history. It wasn’t until 1971 that Memorial Day became an official federal holiday. Today, families travel to cemeteries around the nation to pay their respects. It is also tradition for the President or Vice President of the United States to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate our fallen heroes. There are parades, memorial walks and other time-honored tributes on this day. And we proudly display Old Glory at homes and businesses around the country.
As a CEO of a business, and someone who has traveled extensively, I am acutely aware and appreciative of the brave members of our armed services. Without their sacrifices there would be no America, and no American business.
Memorial Day is an occasion for reflection, remembrance and gratitude. I hope you will join me and salute the courageous people who knowingly put themselves in harm’s way and make a difference in the lives of all Americans.
CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with six offices in Dallas, Uptown, Lakewood, Ranch and Land, The Ballpark and Southlake.