This Memorial Day, Remember Our Roots

This Memorial Day, Remember Our Roots

On Memorial Day, let’s get back to our roots and remember the time when the last Monday in May was not synonymous with retail sales.

To put this day back into perspective, we must remember that Memorial Day originated from Decoration Day, established after the Civil War as a way to remember both Union and Confederate soldiers who died while serving. Together, communities decorated the graves with flags and with the multitudes of flowers in full-bloom by the last week of May. Exactly one century later, this day of remembrance officially became Memorial Day, the holiday honoring all who made the ultimate sacrifice.

While speaking to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1963 about his own experience serving in the Navy, John F. Kennedy said:

“I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: ‘I served in the United States Navy’.”

iStock_000003397789_LargeAs a second-generation Navy veteran myself, Memorial Day continues to serve as a steadfast reminder of those who served and did not get the chance to live out their lives to the fullest extent. My experience in the U.S. Navy helped me to later become a successful small-business owner.

Today, almost 150 years after Decoration Day, I’d like to share one more way we can honor the lives of those who died while fighting for our freedom—support Made in the USA. Support American jobs by buying things made here this Memorial Day. American manufacturing was a key component to creating both a middle class and a higher standard of living for an entire generation of people during the Decoration-Day era. In 2015, it is again a huge piece of keeping America great—manufacturing here creates jobs and makes our economy stronger. For example, “each manufacturing job trusted to one American citizen creates jobs for an addition 5 to 8 Americans”, according to MadeintheUSA.com. The Manufacturing Institute states “every dollar generated by American manufacturing provides an additional $1.48 to the U.S. economy”, and it continues to be one of the main drivers elevating the standard of living.

My commitment to Made in the U.S.A. runs deep. It’s why PMT remains here on the American side of the border in El Paso, Texas, even as many businesses continue to move to Mexico to spend less on labor costs. We are rooted here, and provide over 100 high-quality jobs to team members dedicated to fulfilling the personal and professional goals they’ve outlined for their lives.

As many families gather together to enjoy picnics, barbecues and hopefully some Made-in-the-USA shopping this holiday weekend, take time to remember those who sacrificed their lives so we could be able to share this time with our families.

This Memorial Day, remember and reflect on the true meaning of the day.

—Charles A. Sholtis, CEO