It’s almost the end of the Memorial Day weekend but I wanted to make a quick post in remembrance and gratitude to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Also a huge thank you to their families who continue on in spite of their losses. I saw several stories about those families today on the morning shows that had me in tears and several posts on social media about the true meaning of Memorial Day.
Until I was an adult I had no idea that many people viewed this weekend as a long holiday for camping or barbecues. When I was a kid, Memorial Day meant going up to the cemetery and taking flowers to all of the relatives’ headstones. I didn’t know that you did anything else because that’s what we did and it never occurred to me to do anything else! We would go up, clean off headstones, tidy-up around them and lay out flowers in remembrance. We would visit with other families who were there to do the same thing for their loved ones and then we would go home. That’s what everyone did in our small, rural community. When I left home and became an ‘adult’, I found out that other people vacationed, camped, barbecued or partied because it was the first weekend of summer. Now I’m not bashing people for choosing to spend their weekend recreating but it always seemed kind of wrong or foreign to me. Now that I am several hundred miles away from my family and can’t go with them to the cemetery, I actually kind of miss it. I miss being with my family, I miss seeing friends and neighbors and I miss my loved ones who are not with us anymore. I guess it makes me more grateful for what I have and who I still have in my life.
So again, thank you to those who choose to defend and die for our country so that we may have the freedom to camp and barbecue.