Today is Memorial Day, a day on which we honor our soldiers who died defending the United States of America.
The U.S. has faced multiple wars during its nearly 241 years of existence, during which a total of more than 1.1 million American soldiers were killed.
However, we as civilians usually take for granted the service of our fighting countrymen. Most of us spend much of the year living our lives through a mundane cycle: we await notifications on our phone, grab our cup of Starbucks coffee, and search for what is newly trending on YouTube. I sometimes find myself not eager to leave my bed to get out of work, or have hard time putting down my iPad right before I go to sleep.
But the last Monday of May helps break this regimen by giving pause to reflect on the lives lost in battle in the service of America. The reason why we can enjoy our lives, though at times mundane, without fear of great threats coming from abroad, and live through one of the most peaceful times in human history, is that many Americans sacrificed their lives for the defense of this country.
Yet we are a country currently at odds with ourselves. The 2016 U.S. general election has indeed exacerbated the rhetoric of our political climate. Opposing opinions on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have left the U.S. in search of answers as to its role on the world stage. And many of us are in disagreement as to how we can lift all Americans in terms of standard of living.
However, there is something that we Americans can all agree on despite our divisions: we should honor the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to keep this country safe and, most of all, free. Happy Memorial Day, America.