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Remembering Sacrifice - Honoring Memorial Day and Those Who Gave All


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Episode Transcript

This episode, “Remembering Sacrifice: Honoring Memorial Day and Those Who Gave All,” is a special episode by The Rabbi Who Got Rich on Sunday.  Next week, we will return with a new episode in our mini-series entitled Generating Leads—the Highest Quality for Your Business!

I’m Rabbi Dave, and in today’s episode, we pause to reflect on the significance of Memorial Day—a day of remembrance for the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. Of course, I will briefly show how honoring others for their service is good for our side hustle or traditional business. But first, let’s focus on what is good for our souls by paying tribute to their courage, bravery, and selflessness. Let us honor their memory by sharing stories of heroism, resilience, and sacrifice, which allowed us to do everyday things like love our families and build businesses. It is because of them that we have the freedom to do so!

This featured image shows the image of a chalkboard with chalk writing on it as well as the podcast logo and Podcast Episode #32 with the title "Remembering Sacrifice: Honoring Memorial Day and Those Who Gave All!"

Memorial Day story

One of my favorite students is Adam Campbell. We were very close when he was in High School, during his armed service, and during his recovery. Suddenly, I stopped hearing from him; the last news I received about him was in 2015.

Hopefully, he reads this, or someone who knows him does, and they can reconnect us.

Adam is a hero who saved many lives during his service and was very proud of his Judaism.  Below are two excerpts from articles about him:

While stationed in the Iraqi town of Samarra, Campbell needed to find somewhere to go for the Sedarim on Pesach. He contacted the US Army chaplain in Baghdad to explore the possibility of joining other Jews stationed in Iraq for Pesach. He requested the two days of yom tov off and got them under one condition: If he intended to make the hazardous trip to Baghdad, nearly two hours from Samarra (77.5 miles south), he would have to be accompanied by a minimum of three Humvees (holding between five and seven soldiers each). “I told the guys, this really means something to me,” says Campbell. “I really want to go, but I can’t go without you.” He made it clear that it was not a mission and they didn’t have to go. They all agreed to join him.

At twenty-two, Campbell served in the US Army’s Special Operations Unit in Afghanistan as a force multiplier, a squad leader, a sniper, and a demolition expert. Subsequently, he was sent to Iraq, where, while on a mission, he was hit by two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in less than three minutes, suffering traumatic spinal injuries that left him paraplegic for six and a half months. Twenty-seven spinal taps, seventeen brain drainages, and thirty-six medals (including two Purple Hearts) later, Campbell is grateful to be alive, and he lets God know it—three times a day.

I started getting better physically,” he said. “Physical was easy for me; the Army taught me how to do physical training. The mental situation was very far gone.”

It’s a story that has hit home for countless veterans returning from war. Campbell said he returned to New Jersey after joining the Army straight after graduating from Lakewood High School in 2002, but home was a different place after so many years away.

“When I came back, everyone was projecting who they wanted me to see rather than who they really were,” Campbell recalled. “I really couldn’t talk to everybody because I felt like I missed everything. You come back expecting a certain structure and network of friends, but when you leave, everything changes. I saw the best in people, and I saw the worst in people.”

Campbell became depressed, had frequent nightmares, stopped talking to his friends and family members, and couldn’t hold a job. All that, of course, was happening while he was also getting used to life with the physical challenges that remained from his injuries. The downward spiral seemed like it had no end.

Adam, you and those who gave everything did what you did so that the rest of us could live our dream lives. We pray for you and thank you daily, including today, Memorial Day.

The picture of a serviceman placing a flag on the tombstone of a fallen soldier on Rememberance Day

Memorial Day

Originally known as Decoration Day, the first observance is believed to have occurred in May 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina, when freed slaves honored Union soldiers who had died in the Civil War by decorating their graves. This solemn act of remembrance marked the beginning of a tradition that would eventually evolve into the national holiday we know today.

In 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization of Union veterans known as the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide day of remembrance observed on May 30th, designated as Decoration Day.

In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be observed on the last Monday in May, providing Americans with a designated day to pay tribute to the fallen and reflect on the sacrifices made for the nation’s freedom.

Stories of Sacrifice and Valor

Across the annals of history, countless soldiers have displayed unwavering courage, selflessness, and sacrifice in service to their country, leaving behind stories that serve as enduring reminders of the human cost of war. From the Revolutionary War to modern conflicts, these individuals have made the ultimate sacrifice, laying down their lives to defend freedom, protect their fellow citizens, and uphold the values we hold dear.

One such story is that of Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti, a soldier in the United States Army who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan in 2006. During a firefight with enemy forces, Monti repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to rescue a wounded comrade, ultimately sacrificing his own life to save others. His unwavering bravery and devotion to duty are a testament to the selflessness and sacrifice displayed by so many service members throughout history.

Similarly, World War I soldier Sergeant Alvin C. York‘s story of single-handedly capturing 132 German soldiers stands as a remarkable example of heroism and valor in the face of adversity. Despite being vastly outnumbered and facing heavy enemy fire, York refused to back down, demonstrating extraordinary courage and determination to accomplish his mission and protect his fellow soldiers.

For every soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice, there are families who have endured immeasurable loss and communities forever changed by their absence. As we reflect on the stories of these brave men and women, let us honor their memory, express gratitude for their service and sacrifice, and strive to ensure that their legacy lives on in our hearts and minds for generations to come.

Honoring Our Heroes

On Memorial Day, one tradition is to visit cemeteries or memorials to pay respects to those who gave their lives in service. 

Community events such as parades, concerts, or patriotic gatherings that celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes show our collective appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who served.

Symbolism, such as wearing a red poppy to remember soldiers who died in battle, is a visual reminder of the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women.

Another symbolic gesture is flying the American flag at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day. 

Something else we can do in business that many entrepreneurs who feel the way they should about Veterans too often forget is special events. How can we make a day for local veterans and raise money for something they need? How many would love a trip to see comrades-in-arms but can’t afford a cross-country adventure due to their situation after going to war?

When we do these things, we do it for them, as we should. However, we also become known for our respectfulness, which often gets noticed. Individuals and business people love to do business with those who show respect where respect is due!

Again, honoring the fallen and those who served their country isn’t something we should do with a hidden agenda. But it is those who are fully committed to anything who do it right, and Remembrance Day is one of those things we should not need coercing to support.

Weekly Podcast Challenge – Continuing the Legacy

In addition to these traditions, I encourage listeners to take a moment of silence on Memorial Day to reflect on the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes and express gratitude for their service. 

Advocating for veterans’ rights is another way to honor the memory of fallen soldiers. We must remember that Veterans made tremendous sacrifices for our country. They did their duty, and now, it is our turn to ensure they receive the support, resources, and respect they deserve! 

How can we do this? There are many things we can do, such as advocating for better access to healthcare, education, employment opportunities, and other essential services for veterans. By standing up for veterans’ rights, we honor the sacrifices made by those who have served and reaffirm our commitment to supporting those who have defended our nation.

Actively participating in civic life and working towards the ideals for which they fought and sometimes died can take many forms, including volunteering in your community, advocating for peace and diplomacy, and promoting unity and understanding among all Americans. By engaging in acts of service, fostering dialogue, and working towards a more just and equitable society, we honor the values of freedom, democracy, and equality our fallen soldiers fought to defend.

Choose one or many of the above actions from today’s episode and remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Their courage, valor, and selflessness will forever inspire us to strive for a better world. May we honor their memory not only on this day but every day by living our lives with gratitude, compassion, and a deep commitment to the ideals for which they fought and died. Thank you for joining us on this journey of remembrance and reflection.

Make sure to use #richrabbichallenge, and I’ll share your tributes on the Rabbi Who Got Rich on Sunday Facebook page, 

Remembering Sacrifice – conclusion

Thank you for tuning in to The Rabbi Who Got Rich on Sunday. If you found value in today’s episode, be sure to share this episode with a friend or colleague who could benefit from this message. Our next episode will be “Mastering Retargeting: The Art of Bringing Customers Back.”

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