Each year, as spring turns to summer, families and friends gather to kick off the changing season and enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend—the U.S. federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. With origins dating back to the 1860s, and having been officially declared a national holiday in 1971, Memorial Day is a well-established part of U.S. culture. It’s not just a reason to unwind, relax and enjoy the warm weather. It’s a time to honor, remember and celebrate those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation.
With many veterans, active service members, relatives of those killed in battle, and allies of the veteran community amongst #TeamDataminr, Memorial Day is an important moment for Dataminr’s leaders and employees to pause, reflect and show gratitude for the fallen.
However, I believe Memorial Day should be about more than the general notion of sacrifice and selfless service for our military community. It should be a day for us to remember their names.
For me, it’s a vivid reminder that many real, caring, thoughtful, dedicated and brave service members have given so much to allow us to live a life of our choosing day in and day out. It brings up thoughts of my former colleagues Ryan and Kyle, and the larger-than-life presence they had in their close-knit SEAL teams prior to their death. I think of my former mentor Chad and the positive impact he had on my military career—despite the demons within him that ultimately overcame him. Memorial Day also reminds me of my grandfather and his fellow Marines lost in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
So today, I invite you to join the Dataminr community in commemorating those who died in service to our nation. Say their names. See their faces. Remember their smiles. Appreciate their bravery. Let’s enjoy the last weekend of May to the fullest and, while having fun in the sun, I hope you can find a moment to pause, reflect and be grateful for those who served and gave their all to preserve our freedom and way of life.
Chris Blake is Senior Customer Success Manager of U.S. DOD at Dataminr. Prior to joining Dataminr, Chris served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy as an intelligence officer, a surface warfare officer, and an information systems technician. Chris holds a bachelor degree from Penn State University, a master of arts degree from the U.S. Naval War College, and a master of business administration from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.