As we celebrate spring, and gather with friends and family to grill or barbecue, to laugh and talk and remember, let us pause, in the quiet of our hearts, to honor all those who have gone before. Ancestors and strangers alike, who have sacrificed, endured, and carried on bravely through all manner of trials. The women who marched, who were jailed and even beaten, to pave the way for generations to follow–because of their courage and persistence, today’s women have a voice and a vote, for a start. The courageous men and women of the Civil Rights movement, who took a stand against prejudice and injustice, at considerable risk to their own safety. Many were killed, or suffered grievous harm, for daring to speak up and show up, all for the sake of those who were yet unborn. Let’s think of those sturdy souls who lived through the Great Depression, and set an example of strength and endurance for all the rest of us, of the military personnel who have defended our freedom, time and time again. The many blessings we enjoy today were given to us by our fathers and grandfathers, mothers and grandmothers and by all their predecessors.
These gifts were hard won, and often fought for. Let us honor them with our gratitude and our remembrance and, better yet, strive to be our best possible selves, for the sake of those who follow.