A poignant Memorial Day for me

To our members and friends of MACPA:

While Memorial Day weekend marks the symbolic start of the summer vacation season, the end of the school year, and the season of graduations and weddings, we also should remember the purpose of this observance.

This year is even more poignant for me as I had the privilege to interview Maryland’s own, Lt. Brad Snyder, a Navy Seal and graduate of the Naval Academy who lost both eyes while disarming an IED in Afghanistan. Brad is a rare individual who was determined to overcome his tragic circumstances and went on to become a gold medalist in the swimming paralympics. He now is in demand as an inspirational speaker. Brad will be opening our CPA Innovation Summit on June 16th at the Hyatt Inner Harbor in Baltimore. It is for heroes like him and the many, many more who have sacrificed and even given their lives that gives meaning to this holiday.

Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed in December 2000, asking all Americans, at 3 p.m. local time, “to voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.’”

This holiday reminds us that CPAs are involved in every aspect of American life — including its defense. Ten years ago, our Public Service Award nominee — Col. Frank Ryan, CPA — walked into the MACPA’s Annual Meeting wearing his desert fatigues; we were his first stop after he arrived home from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Frank is a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves and a CPA who proudly fought for his country. Many other CPAs were or are in the armed services. We have members who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts. We want to take a moment to remember all of our CPAs, along with all of the men and women, living and dead, who have served in the armed forces defending our freedom.

We share the sentiments of poet Moina Michael, who wrote this Memorial Day tribute in 1915:

"We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies."

Please take some time this weekend to remember all of the fallen heroes who have taken part in keeping America “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Wishing you a safe and joyous holiday,


Chief Executive Officer