Never Perfect Enough

Memorial Day was beautiful this year. But whether you ventured down the shore, grilled the perfect burger, or opened that book you’ve been trying to finish for months, chances are on Tuesday you felt slighted.

By the time you get to work, those ebullient hours of workless joy have all but vanished as the dim reality of another day under a fluorescent sky sets in.

But while you’re ticking away the hours until Friday, annoyed that the Memorial Day weekend never seems long enough, try to put yourselves in the shoes of the nearly 150 Marine Reservists who were deployed to Iraq Tuesday morning at Picatinny Arsenal in Morris County.

Look around. Do it. Right now. Do you have air conditioning? Is there a window? How about a water cooler? Does your chair swivel? Do you have a chair at all?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then at this moment in time you are enjoying the benefits of every day life that most of our men and women in the service do not.

Instead of listening to talking heads or political propaganda or reading text on a screen, take a moment and remember what Memorial Day is all about.

Since 2002, New Jersey has lost 99 servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s 99 people with families, with parents and grandparents and siblings and some with children of their own who will never be home again. There are countless others deployed right now, trying to keep cool in the hot Iraq sun, trying to remember the life they left behind.

So the next time you catch yourself complaining about something petty, try to remember that Memorial Day isn’t just another day off from work or the kick off to summer. Try to remember what it’s really about, and put yourself in the shoes of those family members in Milltown, Manahawkin, Howell, Freehold, Jersey City, and Glassboro to name a few, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Maybe then the traffic won’t seem so bad.

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