By Kevin Wood/NEMS Daily Journal
Today marks the unofficial start of summer. Memorial Day weekend has arrived, and with it, two distinct types of celebrations.
The first type is your typical warm weather party. There are people splashing in the ocean, skiing on a lake or swimming in a pool. There are hot burgers on the grill and cold drinks in the cooler. The new theme song of the season, “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock, is blasting in the background.
Everyone is kicked back. School is out. Summer is here.
This is Memorial Day for many.
The second type of celebration is very different from the first. It’s about something – or more clearly, someone – who is gone. The theme song of this celebration is “Taps,” bellowed out by a lone bugler in military attire. Everyone is standing at attention, hands over their heart or poised in salute, sweating as the sun beats down. Sons are gone. Daughters are departed. It is time to pause and remember.
This is Memorial Day for a few.
And even though the two celebrations seem to be worlds apart, there is something that connects them both. The people who are partying can do so only because the people who are pausing have helped secure that privilege.
This year, the Daily Journal chooses to pause, not just for one day or for a three-day weekend, but for 40 days.
From Memorial Day to the Fourth of July, the Daily Journal and DJournal.com will pause and remember the sacrifice and service of Mississippi’s bravest.
We are calling this journey “40 Days of Honor.” The purpose is simple: to draw a straight line from the sacrifice that is commemorated on Memorial Day to the freedom that is celebrated on the Fourth of July.
Over the 40 days we will tell 40 stories of Northeast Mississippians who have served and sacrificed. We will meet men who served on the beaches of Normandy and who battled through the streets of Fallujah. We will go inside the cells of the Hanoi Hilton and behind the gates of a Nazi prisoner camp. We will meet a woman who delivers mail everyday for a living, but one day was delivered the hardest message of all about her son. Everyone you meet and every story you hear has its roots here in Northeast Mississippi.
Join us at www.40DaysofHonor.com and watch the pages of the Daily Journal in the weeks to come.