Memorial Day: Remember Our Fallen

Last Updated May 31, 2010 10:00 AM EDT

Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the American military and originated in the years following the Civil War. It became an official federal holiday in 1971, although my guess is that most people think of the day more as the unofficial start of summer than as a day to remember those who served our country.

I write about our family's very personal experience of war twice a year: on Veteran's Day and on Memorial Day. I do so to remind those who are not directly affected by wars, that behind the reporting, the stories and the numbers, lie real people with families who will never be the same again.

This is our beloved nephew, who bravely entered the Marine Corps after graduating from Annapolis in 2006. 1st Lieutenant Michael L. LiCalzi USMC died on May 11, 2006 in Anbar Provence, Iraq, six weeks into his first tour of duty.

We are but one family--there are countless others who struggle with loss and pride on Memorial Day and every other day of the year. That said, please for a moment remember our fallen soldiers today. Maybe that means attending your town's parade or thanking a soldier who served or even just bowing your head for a moment to honor all of the brave souls who gave so much.

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    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Emmy-nominated, Business Analyst for CBS News. She covers the economy, markets, investing and anything else with a dollar sign on TV, radio (including her nationally syndicated radio show), the web and her blog, "Jill on Money." Prior to her second career at CBS, Jill spent 14 years as the co-owner and Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. She began her career as a self-employed options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York, following her graduation from Brown University.