The Spirit of Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend is a joyful time for many of us. Pool parties, beach trips, and cookouts remind us that summer is nearly here, and longer, sunnier days are ahead. But as we all know – Memorial Day is about a lot more than just long-weekend fun.

It is a time to honor those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. While we love a happy, returning-home-from-deployment video as much as the next person, it’s important to remember that not everyone gets to experience that. On Memorial Day, we honor the lives lost in sacrifice, the brave men and women who gave all so that we can enjoy life’s freedoms.

Matchmaker Memorial Day 2016In that spirit, we’d like to honor those who came home and kept fighting when all seemed lost. These soldiers had every reason to give up, but instead chose to honor the fallen by getting back up when they were knocked down.

Veteran Arthur Boorman became an internet sensation after he used yoga and the encouragement of one of his favorite wrestlers, Diamond Dallas Page, to lose over 100 pounds. More importantly, after doctors told Arthur he’d never walk again, he trained himself. Today, he enjoys nice long strolls without the aid of his mobility devices. Arthur’s videos spoke to so many people – because we watched him struggle. So much more than just a before and after picture, viewers became part of Arthur’s story, watching him fall, hit the ground, and get up time and time again.

Matchmaker Memorial Day 20162Marine Juan Dominguez was brutally injured by an IED while serving in Afghanistan. But when he returned home, he quickly met Alexis, the woman of his dreams. Having faced some dark days, Juan took a risk and asked her out, and months later, proposed. Alexis said yes, and Juan was embraced as a local hero, with vendors and wineries donating all of the goods for their dream wedding. When local dressmakers and jewelers even wanted to donate Alexis’ dress for her, they were blocked – by Juan himself. He wanted to pay for his beautiful bride’s dress and ring himself.

As we approach Memorial Day, we all face challenges and setbacks in our lives. The best way to honor those who sacrificed is to make the most of whatever we were given, and fully utilize the gifts of life and liberty they paved the way for us to receive.

Whether you’re remembering lost loved ones this weekend, or spending time celebrating life with those closest to you, embrace the sunshine, and thank those who sacrificed all so that you can be here to bask in it.

Remember the fallen this weekend,