My Thoughts On Memorial Day

cropped-veterans_day_us_armed_forces_flags-1-960x5101.jpg

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.

Author: Chaplain Doll

I am a retired 21-year Army Chaplain Veteran, I am the founder of "Healing The Storm Ministry" an outreach for veterans and those suffering from PTSD. The focus of "Healing the Storm Ministry" is to help people find spiritual peace in the midst of their life's storms.

4 thoughts on “My Thoughts On Memorial Day”

  1. I really value the way you look at the world from an angle I seem to yet struggle with. I am one that started the day angry at everyone laughing, having no cares in the world, talking about how much grilling and beer they were going to enjoy, etc…. I resented them. I resented them for their arrogance. I also resented them because my family left me due to the raging fire in me. I resented them as I was standing at the Memorial Day service outdoors and cars & trucks drove by with excessively loud exhaust & music blasting… not even the decency to show any respect for the Service being provided near the street. I was on a roller coaster… feeling very solemn remembering our fallen, and so angry for the lack of respect from those that benefit from those sacrifices while never having ever considered what it takes to provide the lifestyles they take for granted.
    I suppose it was about mid-day when finally a couple neighbors saw me coming back from the Service. They yelled across the yard “Happy Memorial Day Ryan!, Thanks for your service!” while holding a beer in the air. I couldn’t help myself… I stormed across the yard and began to berate them that Memorial Day is about those that were NOT able to be standing here with me today. NOT about my service. This was a day to honor them, not me. I was so angry with it all… and that they had their families to share the day with that I couldn’t keep the fire in that day.
    I stormed off and went to a nearby forest preserve. A quiet place that I can usually walk the trails without seeing others. A safe and calm place that I feel I can hear the angels talk to me. They tell me to calm the fire, to reflect on whats important, and then finally reflect on what I’ve done. I was angry about internal struggles, not the people around me. Yes it is frustrating they don’t understand the day like we do… but they can’t. They didn’t serve and they will never be part of our brother/sisterhood. And dumping my pain and resentment onto them was a terrible way to try and make them understand.
    I went back to the house, and saw my neighbors still in the back yard. I was pretty ashamed and didn’t really know what to say, but I just had to go apologize somehow. God bless them, as they took mercy on me. Several of the guys even brought some beers over to my patio and we all sat in the shade and shared some laughs. So I guess it was all ok in the end this time. But this serves me as a big reminder that I still have a ways to go in dealing with society.
    I seemed to have rambled on here, to simply realize my emotions that day were similar to yours. But that your conclusion really sums it up perfectly. “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”.
    Thank you Kevin, as this is the insight I need to continue on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ryan for your kind words, I’m so glad you were able to enjoy your day and still remember the sacrifices our fellow Brothers and Sisters made for this great nation. You have come a long way and continue to do the hard work. Im proud of all that you have done in the last six months!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s