It is fitting that Memorial Day falls in the middle of our current undertaking to compile stories about “the good in men.” However, many times, the solemn awe of the sacrifice by so many is difficult to put into words. The debt owed by a nation to those who have given their very best—everything, to be precise—weighs more than a value statement to be measured by human understanding.
Though, how we carry on their legacy perhaps provides the greatest meaning. From Concord and Lexington to the modern day Middle East, the men and women who have died in battle have provided us with examples of honor, valor, courage, and all the traits to which we should ascribe. The character values of the fallen are intrinsically tied to the patriotic spirit we uphold when we recognize what they have given on Memorial Day.
This weekend, as we remember our greatest heroes, one segment of the Égard Watch Company video response to Gillette carries particular meaning. A Department of Defense statistic citing how men comprise 97% of war fatalities appears as Egard’s CEO Ilan Srulovicz asks, “Is a man a hero?”
Srulovicz then asks, “Is a man a protector?”
While the rows of white headstones in Arlington and national cemeteries across the country are the resounding answer to these rhetorical questions, aspects of our culture are sadly disconnected from the realities of what type of persons are memorialized in those places.
Under each headstone lies a warrior, embodying the traits of strength, bravery, and, when needed, aggression. Yet, as those decidedly masculine traits are vital in combat, the fallen soldier has exemplified so much more. Love of country, love of others, and self-sacrifice become the transcendent characteristics to a grateful nation.
By their nature, men are driven to be providers and protectors for their families, and we hope you will read the growing collection of accounts of these men we have posted here. Furthermore, we recognize that this very nature is what leads these same men to become the heroes we remember on Memorial Day. They are not here for us to thank them directly, so it is only right that we honor what they have given by remembering that they have showed us the very best in men.