So here we are, Memorial Day weekend. A three-day weekend when we barely know what day it is. Today instead of sharing numbers I want to talk about where we are and of course Memorial Day.

Tomorrow would be the traditional kickoff to the summer. There will not be the first dive of the season into the Madison Pool, no parades, no big barbecue gatherings and while some will go to the shore, there won’t be games or rides on the boardwalk, but there will be 6-foot circles drawn in the sand. Everywhere there will be strong feelings of, “why can’t this just be over.” I can’t judge anyone for having that feeling, I am with you on that one. But let's talk about this as we go into Memorial Day weekend.

This pandemic has been compared to fighting a battle, but on Memorial Day weekend we must not compare it to the level of stepping forward to fight for our country. That said, it’s probably the first time in generations, going back to World War II that everyone has made sacrifices for our nation. Our older residents can share stories of the rationing, collecting metal and rubber during World War II and of course those heroes such as Madison resident Vincent Hynes, who would have been this year’s parade grand marshal could tell of landing on the shores of Normandy as part of the D-Day invasion. It was a time of sacrifice from all, but at very different levels.

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Today, our sacrifices are different but touch all, in every corner of our country. These are sacrifices that range from small such as dealing with empty shelves at the market, to missed celebrations and graduations to our shop owners who face an uncertain future. There are those who have been working everyday through this pandemic despite the risk so that we can eat. There are the medical workers who have sacrificed their safety to serve the sick. Those who we have lost to the virus, either exposed because they were working to help others or because this pandemic moved so quickly.

A little more than two months through this crisis, we all are so ready for this to be over, but if we let up now, our sacrifices will have been wasted. Let’s not spend Memorial Day weekend talking about what we have missed during the pandemic, let us take time instead to remember what Memorial Day is truly all about; remembering those who gave their lives to defend our freedoms; to protect the life we feel we lost over the last few months.

It will take a while, but after this pandemic our lives will return to normal. If no one had stepped forward to serve our country, and put others ahead of themselves, to give their lives for us, our freedoms would have been lost forever.

On Memorial Day don’t worry about the missed picnic, but think of the names read aloud every year by our Gold Star mothers. Mothers, who lost their sons in war, reading the names of every Madisonian who died in battle for all of us. This is what Memorial Day is all about and we must never forget.

Please join us this Monday at 10:00 A.M. on Facebook Live for a recognition for those we have lost to war. If you can’t join us on Facebook then take a moment at 10:00 A.M., to sing or play the Star Spangled Banner and remember our heroes who died so that we could have a normal life that we can look forward toward once again.

Don’t forget to check for updates on on a regular basis, and visit for mental health support.

Thank you for your time, take care of yourself, your loved ones and others through social distancing and personal protection measures.

Be Home, Be well. Have a wonderful Memorial Day.