Honoring service and sacrifice

Honoring service and sacrifice at Adobe.

By Mark Lipscomb

Posted on 05-27-2021

Every year in the United States, we observe Memorial Day to honor those who have died while serving in the military and we memorialize those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Because Memorial Day also unofficially launches the summer season, it’s easy to overlook the solemn meaning of the holiday amid cookouts and beach trips and all the other ways we can enjoy a three-day weekend. That’s especially true after the last year we’ve spent at home trying to stay safe and healthy during the global pandemic.

This year, let’s do both: Let’s pause to honor those who died for our freedoms and celebrate those freedoms.

For the past several years, I have taken my kids to a Memorial Day service held at our local cemetery. At first, they asked why we had to do this, and I’d explain that Memorial Day is the one day each year when our country collectively honors the sacrifice of so many of those who gave their lives to protect our freedoms. Growing up in a military family (great grandparents, grandparents, my father, and eventually me and my brother), I was surrounded by stories of military service and sacrifice. But everyone can honor Memorial Day and incorporate more of its true meaning into your plans for the day:

By setting aside time to remember the true meaning of the day, we ensure that no one ever takes the freedom we enjoy for granted. That’s what I’m trying to help my children understand about Memorial Day. This year let’s embrace family celebrations and cookouts while we honor the service and sacrifice that made these experiences possible.

Below members of Veterans at Adobe Employee Network (VEN) share what Memorial Day means to them.

Matthew Gabriel Wagstaff (center), Chief Warrant Officer 3. Taken during Mathew’s second tour in Afghanistan.

Matthew Gabriel Wagstaff (center), Chief Warrant Officer 3. Taken during Mathew’s second tour in Afghanistan.

Suzanne Wagstaff
Senior Service Manager

“For me and my family, every day has been Memorial Day since I was told that my son died in service. On September 21, 2010, I heard the dreaded words “We regret to inform you…” and was told that Matthew’s aircraft went down during a black ops mission in Afghanistan. At first, it was extremely hard to see advertising for Memorial Day sales and hear about everyone’s vacation plans for the holiday weekend. But over time, I recognized that my son’s sacrifice secured the many freedoms that we all enjoy today. I am enormously proud of him and everyone else who serves our country in this way. As a Gold Star Mom, I believe it’s my role to remind people about the sacrifices of those in the military. I always go out of my way to recognize and thank them for their service. They serve so all of us can enjoy freedom which makes me deeply proud and full of respect for everyone in uniform. God Bless America.”

This photo of George was taken in Bootcamp, where he was a Staff Sergeant in United States Marine Corp.

This photo of George was taken in Bootcamp, when he was a Staff Sergeant in United States Marine Corp.

George Sadler
Senior Director, Sales Operations

“As veteran from a long line of veterans, Memorial Day is special to me. In many ways, it’s as important as Mother’s or Father’s Day because without those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, our lives would not be the same. Everything we have is based on the freedoms secured by men and women who served and sometimes sacrificed their lives. My family, my country and our way of life aren’t guaranteed, and our military veterans deserve our recognition and deep appreciation for their service.”

Cesar Moreira, Captain, US Army, Operations Officer in the 311th Military intelligence battalion in the 101st Airborne Division Army.

Cesar Moreira, Captain, US Army, Operations Officer in the 311th Military intelligence battalion in the 101st Airborne Division Army.

Cesar Moreira
Senior Sales Proposal Advisor

“In everyday life, it is too easy to forget that freedom isn’t free. That’s why Memorial Day is special–it gives us a chance to pause briefly to honor the service and sacrifice of all those who gave their lives in the service of their country. As a Virginia resident, we often heard Thomas Jefferson quotes and here is one that illustrates how liberty is dependent upon sacrifice: “The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” On this day, I remember and give thanks to those who willingly gave of themselves–sometimes their lives–so we could reap the benefits of freedom. God bless them all.”

Mark pictured with his grandfather and mentor, Alan R. Burkart. Alan was a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Air Force who served as a Radar-Navigator with the bombardier crew of a B-36 Peacemaker during the Korean War.

Mark pictured with his grandfather and mentor, Alan R. Burkart. Alan was a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Air Force who served as a Radar-Navigator with the bombardier crew of a B-36 Peacemaker during the Korean War.

Mark Hickok
Security Analyst

“I think Memorial is a misunderstood “holiday” because it generally kickstarts the summer season and is celebrated with picnics and parties. Of course, we all enjoy celebrating with friends and family, but I think we should also take time to focus on the meaning of Memorial Day. As a Marine combat veteran who fought both Iraq and Afghanistan, I do not believe Memorial Day belongs to me or to any other living veteran. Instead, it belongs to those we lost in service to this country. “Memorial” to me means allowing the space, time, and respect for remembering. We remember those lost, we remember the families who will never be the same, and we remember what sacrifice really means.”

Antonio’s grandparents, Pelegrino (Pete) and Paula Sanchez, just before Pete shipped off to WWII. Paula dressed in a Navy outfit to show her support for her husband.

Antonio’s grandparents, Pelegrino (Pete) and Paula Sanchez, just before Pete shipped off to WWII. Paula dressed in a Navy outfit to show her support for her husband.

Antonio Humphreys
Group Manager, Business Programs

“Many in my family served in the U.S. Army and Navy and I worked as a civilian for the U.S. Air Force and NASA. Memorial Day for me is a chance to always remember our family, friends, and colleagues in our Armed Forces who have given so much for our country and deserve our deepest gratitude.”

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