As I sit down and reflect on Memorial Day, I cannot help but ponder how today’s people perceive this significant holiday. Is it merely a day off from work or school? Or is it an opportunity for us to remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure we live in peace and harmony? Memorial Day is not just a holiday; it is a sacred time to pay tribute to the individuals without whose sacrifices our lives would be starkly different.

The true essence of Memorial Day lies in recognizing and appreciating the valor of those who laid down their lives for our freedom. It’s time to ask ourselves: how can we genuinely honor their memory? The answer goes beyond taking a day off or celebrating the beginning of the swimming season. It is about rolling up our sleeves and engaging in acts of kindness and service that reflect the spirit of those who gave everything to us.

Honoring their memory means helping an orphan find hope, assisting a widow in her grief, supporting those in need, offering shelter to the homeless, guiding a child towards a brighter future, and lifting up those who are struggling. It is about saluting our veterans, who bravely chose a path of potential martyrdom for our well-being, and acknowledging the unwavering dedication of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and healthcare workers who continue to serve and protect us.

At the Detroit Rescue Mission, we take Memorial Day very seriously. We pray for everyone who has sacrificed their life for our country, and we strive to honor their memory by helping more people and lifting each other up. We celebrate the lives of those who have fallen, and we reflect on everything we have done, constantly seeking ways to improve and reach more people in need.

This Memorial Day, let us transform our reflections into actions. Let us embody the principles of sacrifice, bravery, and compassion that our fallen heroes represented. By doing so, we not only honor their legacy but also create a community that upholds the values they fought for. Let us remember that their sacrifices are not in vain, and it is our duty to ensure their memory lives on through our actions and our commitment to helping others.

In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.” This Memorial Day, let us pledge to increase our devotion to the causes of peace, freedom, and service to others. Let us ensure that their sacrifices continue to inspire us to build a better, more compassionate world.

Memorial Day is not just a day of remembrance; it is a call to action. Let us answer that call with the same courage and dedication that our fallen heroes displayed. As we reflect on their sacrifices, let us also reflect on our responsibility to carry forward their legacy. Together, we can make Memorial Day a true celebration of life, service, and the enduring spirit of those who gave everything for us.

Chad Audi President and CEO Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries

DRMM is a 115-year-old organization that gives much-needed hope and help to the homeless, jobless, drug-addicted, and afflicted of southeast Michigan. For more information, please visit or call 313-993-4700.

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