I’ll be taking a four day weekend starting tomorrow, so the Friday Letter is reaching you today. I am always one to remember why we have “long weekends”. As we commemorate Memorial Day on Monday, I ask that you think about the benefits and privileges we enjoy as citizens of the United States. Not every country, nor every citizen within our country, enjoys the privilege of democracy. Those who have died in service to our country have contributed both domestically and abroad and I appreciate taking a moment to recognize their work. At the Chamber of Commerce meeting this morning, a former Coast Guard commander talked of his desire to observe Memorial Day. Our armed forces serve many capacities in addition to their international role. We shouldn’t ever forget their part in helping our citizens obtain more education, protecting and rescuing folks in need, and helping in times of national crisis.
Memorial Day started after the US Civil War with different traditions in the North and South. In the North, it was called Decoration Day because it was a day to decorate the graves of fallen war soldiers. In the South, it was called Memorial Day and evolved into remembering the lost cause that many in the South fought for. In modern day, it is an opportunity to remember any life lost as a result of participation in our armed forces. Understanding the history and adapting it to present day is a good exercise. =)
I tried to Google poems about the role of peace, the remembrance of our vets, service to others and other Memorial Day topics. Nothing quite fit for today’s letter. If you have something that has inspired you in this light, I would encourage you to respond to today’s letter by sharing your story.
Tonight we honor our students at the Honors and Leadership Ceremony. We’ll recognize academic achievement as well as achievement in service to the college. It is one of the Top 5 important moments in our academic calendar and I encourage all to attend from 7:00-8:30 tonight in Mobius. Service among our employees is also important. We have had few nominations for employee service recognition and it’s not too late to nominate an Exempt or Classified employee for the Distinguished Exempt and Classified Employee Award. If you have someone in mind but haven’t had a moment to complete the application, the deadline has been extended to Tuesday, May 31. You can find the application here. ETeam will be making their selections Wednesday morning. Please consider nominating one or more Exempt or Classified staff that has helped the college in a special or significant way this year.
Whether this weekend offers the opportunity to honor our vets, or to reflect on the achievements of our students and employees, it is worth reflecting on the fact that we have a day set aside for the remembrance of others.
Have a great weekend.