Guest Post: Memorial Day Thoughts


Editor’s Note: Jack Levine is a Leadership Florida friend and a frequent blogger. He runs the 4Generations Institute in Tallahassee. We thought we’d share his thoughts on Memorial Day. Have a safe weekend.

By Jack Levine

4 Generations Institute

As Memorial Day, Monday May 25th, approaches please join me in pausing to honor family members and neighbors who sacrificed as members of our Armed Forces.


Whether our veterans survived their military service, or were lost on the field of battle, our country owes each of them, and their families, a debt of gratitude.


As we look back at the wars advocated by presidents, declared by Congress, and supported to varying degrees by our citizens, let’s remember that none of these conflicts were or, to this day, are immune from political and social controversy.


But we should never confuse debate over military policy with the need to be respectful of those whose lives are at risk on the battlefield, in the air, or on the seas.


Our freedoms were earned, bled for, and in many cases, died for.


Memorial Day presents the chance to gather our thoughts and honor the military service of our parents and grandparents, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins.


Individuals who either volunteered or were drafted, wore the uniform of our armed forces, and gave all or a portion of their lives in service to our nation and its allies.


Our American WWII veterans are passing away at the rate of 1,000 per day.  These elders deserve a great measure of our respect in their advancing years.


In honor of those we’ve lost, let’s not be passive about the importance of their sacrifice.  In their honor, let’s pledge to participate in the following advocacy activities:


  • Register, vote, and urge others to do the same. Democracy demands dedication!


  • Actively communicate with our elected officials about issues affecting families, including military families. Remember, our elected officials work for us!


  • Share your thoughts in the media by writing letters to the editor and interviewing about your advocacy passions with reporters. Media is our most cost-effective megaphone.


  • Motivate youth to exercise their voice in matters which affect them. The next generation of advocates needs good role modeling.


  • Confront those who think that complaining about problems is sufficient. Whining is not as good as winning!


  • Compliment community leadership and promote active involvement by friends, colleagues and neighbors as volunteers, whom I call “time philanthropists.”


  • Support causes which focus on advocating positive change. Spectatorism doesn’t produce progress.


Leadership is….

Caring more than others think wise,

Dreaming more than others think practical,

Risking more than others think safe, and

Expecting more than others think possible.


Please keep in mind that while we relax over holiday weekends, some neighbors…our first responders….police, EMT, firefighters, abuse investigators and hospital personnel…and of course our military forces abroad and here in domestic service…remain on call and stay vigilant to protect us and our families.


Recognizing these heroes among us, supporting them, taking care of their families and giving them an honest compliment is a worthy action that pays great dividends.