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Memorial Day: Remembering the Sacrifice Some Have Paid For Our Freedom

Today is about more than just the beach and the afternoon barbecue. It’s about honoring and remembering those who fought and died for our right to enjoy the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all Americans.

Volunteers Place Flowers On Gravesites At Arlington National Cemetery Ahead Of Memorial Day
A red rose is seen at the base of a tombstone during a volunteer event at Arlington National Cemetery ahead of Memorial Day on May 26, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia.
Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images

What a weekend for the UCLA Bruins! The softball team punched their tickets to Oklahoma City with a resounding sweep of James Madison, while the baseball team finished off a fantastic regular season with victories over Oregon en route to clinching the Pac-12 Conference title. In addition, UCLA’s men’s and women’s doubles teams both won the NCAA Individual Championship, and two former Bruins are making a huge impact in the NBA Playoffs.

But we’ll have more time to talk about all that later. Right now, I want to slow things down and reflect on things outside of Bruin athletics, because today is Memorial Day.

Memorial Day originally began as a day of remembrance for soldiers who had died fighting in the Civil War, and over time the day has grown to honor all American military personnel who have died fighting to protect this country. It was made a federal holiday in 1971, along with designating the last Monday of May as the official date each year.

I don’t really have much to add, honestly. I’ve never served in the military, and have never been placed in a situation that could call on me to perform the ultimate sacrifice in service to my country. I’m just a simple blogger on a site dedicated to a college athletics program. Anything I tried to tell you regarding the military and what they go through would ring hollow.

The best I can do in times like this is to simply say thank you. Thank you to the men and women of our armed forces for your service, your bravery, your commitment to protecting the freedoms and ideals of this country. And let us always remember the men and women of our armed forces who have fallen in battle, and remember their sacrifice.

I will add that every year at 3:00 pm local time, it is asked that people stop to honor the National Moment of Remembrance. The purpose of this act is to honor “those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values.” Those who made the ultimate sacrifice deserve our respect on this day.

So, from all of us at Bruins Nation, while you’re spending time with family and enjoying the day off from school and work, don’t forget the reason for the holiday in the first place.