Thursday, May 21, 2015

Memorial Day Message: Zest For Change Takes a Holiday as We Remember

By Daniel Applegate
President, Arlington Memorial Gardens

Americans have always enjoyed the great good fortune of inhabiting an expansive continent possessing remarkable and abundant natural resources. Unfortunately, over time abundance has borne a deep-seated culture of carelessness that is particularly evident in how we treat our air, land and water.

But the carelessness doesn’t end with our natural resources. We are, in fact, often careless with our traditions, frequently giving in to our collective national zest for change. After all, while this may be the home of the free and the brave, our willingness to welcome change is almost as American as apple pie.

Change tends to replace beliefs, practices and expectations. Although societal change has occurred throughout history, the fundamental belief in innovation is a relatively new phenomenon of just the past few hundred years. And, thanks to today’s highly organized, not to mention obsessive, pursuit of technological innovation and the culture it creates, change is more rapid and welcome in America than at any other previous period of time, a result that means that traditions and values – like technology itself, have a very short shelf life. As a matter of fact, it might be said that in earlier times change replaced traditions; but, today’s hyper-speed pace results in change replacing change.

There’s no question that change is all around us and that it’s a part of our culture. We live with it and we adapt.  And yet we can hold out hope that Americans recognize that some values are sacrosanct. Honoring and remembering those who have given their lives for our country is one such value. Memorial Day is a time set-aside from the all too normal turbulence and churn of everyday living in America. It’s one of those rare opportunities when we come together as a nation in the spirit of remembering.

Here at Arlington, where remembering is our business, we hope we can help to preserve and embellish the impulse to remember and honor those who have paid the ultimate price.We invite you to join us on Sunday, May 25th beginning at 11:00 AM for our "Lunch With a Veteran” picnic, compliments of Arlington, and then at 1:00 PM for our annual Flag Raising Ceremony.  Our ceremony this year features the Wesley Werner American Legion Post #513 and author, speaker and veteran’s activist Dan Perkins. Please plan on attending one or both of these meaningful events.

Daniel Applegate became part of the Arlington Memorial Gardens organization in 2001 and has worked in the cemetery industry since 1981, including serving as Secretary/Treasurer and then as President of the Ohio state cemetery association.  He was appointed by Ohio Governor George Voinovich and served two terms on the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission, Ohio's cemetery oversight agency. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science.