Earlier this week we celebrated Memorial Day. It is a day of remembrance for everyone who has died serving in the American armed forces. The holiday originated during and after the Civil War.
The definition of “war” according to Merriam-Webster:
A state or period of fighting between countries or groups;
A situation in which people or groups compete with or fight against each other;
An organized effort by a government or other large organization to stop or defeat something that is viewed as dangerous or bad
During Memorial Day I honor those that I know have served in the armed forces, as well as, those who died in the line of duty here at home. History teaches us that many Black men and women who served in the military during and before the Vietnam War were often treated as second-class citizens upon their return. After fighting for their country they returned to greater discrimination than received abroad.
So on every Memorial Day I recognize individuals who have fought for me here at home. Neither of these three men reached the age of forty; but they commanded legions of Black people and died on the battle field fighting for Black people to be treated as human beings.
Fred Hampton (1948-1969)
Deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party until his assassination in 1969.
Malcolm X (1925-1965)
A Muslim minister and a human rights activist
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)
Minister and social activist who played a key role in the American civil rights movement
There are many more that I could name but these are my top three. I appreciate these brothers, among others, for serving on the front lines. You will be remembered forever. I would encourage you to learn more about them.
Who do you honor?