As we approach the long weekend, let’s remember the reason for this holiday. It’s often used as an excuse for barbecues and gatherings with family and friends. But don’t forget: Memorial Day is for honoring those brave men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military; those who died to protect our freedom.

We are now fighting a different kind of war. This year, Memorial Day Weekend will likely be different for many of us as we stay home to protect others. As we salute our fallen military heroes, I believe it is also appropriate to recognize those who have lost their lives to this virus, as well as those who are risking their lives to protect us.

It is fitting that this is also EMS Appreciation Week. This weekend, I will remember the fallen, but I will also appreciate the warriors who are protecting me. I will help protect them by staying home and social distancing. Our actions speak as loud as our words. Won’t you join me — virtually — in honoring the fallen, and recognizing and appreciating those who are still standing?

Amongst those whom I’m appreciating this weekend is my sister, Ginny Wright, pictured here, who is a nurse practitioner in central New Hampshire. She’s a warrior, risking her life to save the lives of others. Thank you to Ginny, and to all of the other unsung hero’s just like her.