Las Vegas Memorial Day 2022

DEBRA VARNER, DAV National Chaplain

"The Exceptional"

      On Memorial Day, formerly known as
Decoration Day, we will remember
and honor our nation’s exceptional
heroes—those who have laid down their
lives in service to this country.
      This national tribute arose from the
ashes of the Civil War as a way for
surviving spouses and fellow veterans
to pay tribute to those lost on the
      It is also a time when we can reflect
on the many freedoms those sacrifices
have made possible. We recognize
our freedom to express our opinion
and to gather and discuss our beliefs
and values. We can read or exchange
information openly in the press, defend
ourselves and have a system of justice.
     It is important to acknowledge that
those freedoms are ours because of
the many men and women who stepped
forward to defend our nation and, in their
service, sacrificed their lives for us. It is
our duty as fellow comrades and family
members to remember the gifts they
have given us.
     Their commitment and dedication to
this great nation made them exceptional.
But the fact that they were someone’s
parent, spouse, child or sibling is what
makes them irreplaceable. Those
families live with loss the remainder of
their days.
     We may not always be able to pick a
veteran out of a crowd. It will not be the
person walking around sharing what they
experienced while serving their country.
Many veterans among us live quiet,
ordinary lives while the turmoil of war
dwells within. For so many veterans,
Memorial Day also carries the pain of
friends lost and the complex emotions
of being the one who made it home
while others didn’t.
     We cannot see or imagine what many
of our fellow veterans have experienced
or know the strength and the courage
it took for them to fight “the good fight
of faith.” For many, the experiences of
war are locked away somewhere inside
of them. Some will share, and others
will not.
     While Memorial Day is about
remembering those service men and
women who have passed, it also can
be an opportunity to connect with the
veterans who are still with us, to be there
for them on what may be a difficult day.
     Our veterans truly are “The
Exceptional.” Nothing, and no one,
can compare to their bravery.
     “Let us not be weary in well-doing.”