The last few days I have seen and read different post, tweets and Facebook post concerning Memorial Day. Some have been solemn as the author shares their memories of lost family members or battle buddies. I have read other posts where people are wishing others a happy Memorial Day. Others are reminding folks as they enjoying the day at the beach or having BBQs they should stop and remember those who laid down their lives for the cause of freedom. Some posters are even angry and mean-spirited, attacking those who spend the day with their families and friends enjoying their time together. It is clear there is no well-defined consensus on how Memorial Day should be observed. Some advocate that Memorial Day should always fall on May 30th as it was initially intended and not on the last Monday of May. Others want Memorial Day to not be an official holiday but a day of remembrance and honor as veterans Day is observed. Many see Memorial Day as only the first day of summer and forget there is a reason we observe a day of memorial for those who died in service to our country.
It is not my intention to present arguments to defend or attack anyone’s observation of Memorial Day. I just want to share my thoughts on Memorial Day. I do not get offended when people spend time with families and friends and enjoy themselves on Memorial Day. I do not resent those who go to the beach, the lake, and the back yard BBQs or parties over the Memorial Day weekend. Because I am reminded the reason we are able to enjoy this weekend is a direct result of those who gave their lives for our Nation. Because of them, we enjoy the freedom to spend the day at the beaches, the lakes, gathering together as friend and families and doing so without fear. I am reminded there are many people who were never able to enjoy a day together with family and friends; because no one ever stood up for freedom or was willing to lay down their lives for the cause of freedom. I am moved by those who post pictures, memories, poems and Scripture verses in remembrance of those who have died, in doing so they make observing Memorial Day more personal. I am proud to watch official Memorial Day observances, parades and to watch the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS each year. It reminds me of how unique and special we are as a nation as we remember our fallen heroes. I find courage as I pass cemeteries and see the individual flags that mark the graves of our fallen Veterans knowing this great nation exist because of these men and women. I am proud as an American to honor and remember all those who were willing to give their last full measure of devotion.
I am saddened there are many who see Memorial Day as just the beginning of the summer vacation season and I get irritated when people wish others a happy memorial day. I am not angry with them nor do I resent them. To tell the truth I pity them, as they will never fully understand nor appreciate the sacrifice that was made on their behalf. Yet, their actions or lack of action in honoring our fallen heroes does not in any way diminish the great sacrifice our service men and women made for this Nation.