Memorial is -paraphrasing Webster’s definition- something established to remind people of a person or event.
Memorial Day is an American holiday established to remind us of those women and men who have given their lives in the service of our great nation. In the course of this country’s almost 240 years thousands have made that ultimate sacrifice. For fifteen years now America has been at war, times in multiple theatres. In the connected world we live in, during the course of these past fifteen years everybody has felt in degrees of course the impact of the death of a service-wo/man who made that sacrifice. This coming Monday will be the day established to remind us of their sacrifice. A day to remind us of Americans who have died in the service of the United States of America. How will you choose to spend your day? Is there a correct way or incorrect way to pay homage?
My answer this year is, remember all of those you have known for who they were as service women and men along with who they were as the people you knew. You see, the day should not be allowed to stoke political fires or act as a springboard for some sort of social consciousness. We have 364 other days for that nonesense along with 364,000 other excuses. Remember those you have known, perhaps even served with, appreciate what they have given for what it is……..everything.
Remember that thousands have given everything for you to be the freest people in the freest country ever in the history of the world right here right now.
Never ever forget. They did not die for your opinion. They died for your right to openly have one.
Spend the day mindful of these sacrifices doing whatever it is you decide to do. You’re in America, it’s your given right. Try not to spend it judging people for how they are or are not spending the day.
The picture above outlines the workout and its origins. Please read it all, mindful of the fact that it was posted by HQ just six weeks after LT. Murphy was killed in action. The workout was renamed in his honor for his sacrifice in service of his country. “Memorial” in CrossFit is the first point I make when explaining what I love and draws me to the community. When our community loses a loved one, we create the one best way we know in celebrating their memory. A workout that each and every single one of us can do anywhere in the world. Often we do these workouts on a specific day in a showing for any and all to be reminded of our loved one. We lift each other up, we tell stories, we do what we do for our military, first responders, families, and friends to memorialize not only them, but also the circumstance in which they died.
Participating with an all in attitude is the only requirement. There is no way you’d ever hear how one person did a better job of paying homage than another based off of how they performed the workout.
Above is my backpack. It’s pretty sweet, bought it at Wally World a long time ago, and a note I wrote on the eve of my first “Murph.” We have found twenty pounds to load up for the last four years and gone all in. The note lives in a pocket of the pack 24/7/365. I read that note every morning now before I meet with those I share the day with. It puts me in a place that I need to be in for the work ahead. I pay my respects to LT. Murphy and his memory specifically along with every single woman and man that have given their life in service. Emotionally I am a mess before we start. I have put what I cherish most and how it would feel for it to be taken from me just beneath the surface. I imagine how those I love would remember me at that very moment if I were to be taken from them. I am mindful that morning of every single person who has given everything. I am thankful to where my heart begins to ache. I ask myself if I am living a full life worthy of that sacrifice.
The workout begins and I give myself completely to the task at hand. I am in my head the entire time. There is not an emotion not experienced during this workout. Literally one rep at a time. The only outcome considered is where I have completed my work entirely with virtuosity of movement and purpose. Physically every year the work puts me in a bad place, and I keep myself there until finished remembering that sacrifice of everything.
That note and the internal dialogue every year are private. They are mine, and they are precious to me. For those who have given everything, I will never forget your sacrifice, and the opportunities I have because of it.