As many Americans cautiously emerge from 14 months of virtual isolation imposed by the pandemic, this Memorial Day will likely be one of the biggest holidays since COVID-19 created a national crisis. Broad access to vaccines and declining case counts help many people feel more confident about coming back together. Many of us are looking forward to beach trips, barbeques, vacations, or stay-cations with family and friends with whom we could only Zoom or FaceTime for more than a year.
To be sure, we have much to celebrate. We also have much to remember.
As we gather, we must also keep in mind the real reason for Memorial Day: to honor the brave service men and women who gave their lives for our liberties. These heroes’ ultimate sacrifices secured the institutions that empower us not only to defeat adversaries abroad and at home but also to battle the virus attacking the very air we breathe this past year. Their willingness to face our foes with courage and conviction despite mortal dangers is the foundation of freedom ensuring we remain a United States against our enemies even if we agree to disagree among ourselves.
Declared a national holiday by Congress in 1971, Memorial Day honors the brave men and women who gave their lives for our liberties, while war memorials around America pay tribute year-round to fallen defenders of freedom.
Over the long weekend, as we all reunite, let us also pause to pay tribute to those who died while defending our Nation. Though we can never meet the full value of our debt for their valor, we can carry on the great legacy for which they fought through our gratitude and with honor, integrity, service, community, kindness, caring, respect, understanding, and collaboration.
This Memorial Day, we at Hancock Whitney remember and thank those who paid a precious price to safeguard the values and spirit at the heart of who we are as Americans. We also salute our veterans, reservists, and active duty service men and women and their families who have given much so we may have much.
From our Hancock Whitney family to you and yours, we wish you a safe, healthy, and happy Memorial Day as together we stay strong and move forward.