40 Days of Honor:
From Sacrifice to Celebration

Today - Saturday, May 26 - marks the unofficial start of summer. Memorial Day weekend has arrived, and with it, two distinct types of celebrations.

The first type of celebration is your typical warm weather party. There are people splashing in the ocean or swimming in a pool. There are hot burgers on the grill and cold drinks in the cooler.  The new theme song of the season, “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock is blasting in the background.

Everyone is kicked back with their hands behind their head. School is out. Summer is here. It is time to party and relax. This is Memorial Day for many.

The second type of celebration is very different from the first. Where the first celebration is about the fact that “summer is here”, the second celebration is about someone who is gone. No one is splashing or swimming. The grills are unlit and the coolers are empty. The theme song of this celebration is “Taps”, bellowed out by a lone bugler in military attire.

Everyone is standing at attention, hands over their heart or poised in salute. Sons are gone. Daughters are departed. It is time to pause and remember. This is Memorial Day for a few.

And even though the two celebrations seem to be worlds apart, there is something that connects both of them very closely. The people who are partying can do so only because the people who are pausing have helped secure that privilege.  

This year, the Daily Journal chooses to pause not just for one day but for 40 days. From Memorial Day to the Fourth of July, the Daily Journal will pause and remember the sacrifice of Mississippi’s bravest. The journey is called “40 Days of Honor”. The purpose is simple: we want to draw a straight line from the sacrifice that is commemorated on Memorial Day to the freedom that is celebrated on The Fourth of July.

Over the next 40 days we will tell 40 stories of north Mississippians who have sacrificed. We will meet men who served on the beaches of Normandy and men who battled through the streets of Fallujah. We will go behind the gates of a Nazi prisoner camp and inside the cells of the Hanoi Hilton.  And everyone you meet has roots right here in north Mississippi.

So join us online at www.40DaysofHonor.com and in the pages of the Daily Journal in the weeks to come. It is time to pause. It is time to remember. It is time to honor.

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