This time of year has always struck me as symbolic of the eternal balance of life. Winter thaws and yields to spring and summer but only with winter again on the not too distant horizon. It’s an eternal cycle that ties together what has come before and what is yet to come. The past, present, and the future. Death and new life.
It should then come as no surprise that the months of May, June, and July are always a mixture of pomp and circumstance and remembrance and fireworks. We graduate young men and women to be leaders of the next generation. At the same time we as a nation take pause to remember all those who forged this great nation in blood, sweat, and tears throughout the decades all the way back to our country’s birth.
Indeed, May, June, and July are host to several important dates of remembrance:
While each of these national holidays have their own unique origins and focal points, a common overarching theme is the power of hope amid struggle. Without hope, none of the triumphs over adversity or victories for liberty and justice would have come to pass.
However, it’s so easy to lose hope and get swept up by the hysteria of the news media or lost in the desperation of what truly seems at times like a world on fire. That’s why now more than ever it seems we need to harness the power of hope. We need to be reminded of the resolve of our forefathers and foremothers despite the bleakest odds and to never, never, never ever give up.
I first heard those words at my brother‘s high school graduation from the Canterbury School in bucolic New Milford, Connecticut 21 years ago. Fay Vincent, Sr., the former commissioner of the Major League Baseball was the commencement speaker and relayed a quote from Winston Churchill’s speech at the Harrow School on October 29, 1941 that left an indelible impression and has carried me through a number of life’s challenges:
“[N]ever give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”– Winston Churchill
Now is a time in our country and in our world that may seem rather bleak and leave us at times in a state of despair, or worse, feeling existential. Some of us may feel that we’ve lost our way as an American people or even as a human race and that the ensuing damage is irreparable.
To those who feel this way I say do not give up the ghost yet. There is still life and fight in all of us. We are still alive and kicking. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. As Ernest Hemingway said, “we are stronger at the broken parts.”
All is not lost and the end is not near as long as we maintain hope.
Hope never fails.
In memory of all those who lived and died so selflessly waving the banner of hope, and as an example for the youth coming up behind us, let us take the time to reflect about what we each can do individually to never give up and further our collective mission to be better, kinder, and gentler.
If you Need Help, It Would Be Our Pleasure...
Kevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an Orange County estate planning attorney and elder law attorney. He is all about family and has a passion for educating his community. He enjoys helping people protect what matters most and inspiring them to be the best versions of themselves they can be.