Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.[3 (wikipedia)
Memorial Day also sounds the starting pistol for schools being out (most of them) and the summer vacation time to begin. Many celebrate by having cookouts with friends and family on their decks, in their backyards or in parks. But for many, including me, it is time to reflect and miss those who have served. My brother is buried at Arlington National Cemetery near a cherry tree; my father and his father are buried at Jefferson Barracks Cemetery along with one of my nephews. I miss them and truly appreciate those volunteers who go out and place little flags on their grave sites at certain holidays.
I cannot even begin to fathom the worry and anxiety families experience when their loved one is serving in a hot spot in the world. The closest I can even begin to come is being totally stunned and confused when as a child I watched Walter Cronkite on the news showing scenes of the Vietnam War and then seeing the troubled look on mom’s face because her son was over there at the time. Those families who have to carry on while their person is serving need all the help and support they can get. Those who come back with PTSD or with terrible injuries need and deserve the best medical care that is out there; sadly there are so many homeless vets out there. And then there are those who have made the ultimate sacrifice…my heart and prayers go out to those families who grieve.
Every man and woman who have served, are serving or who are about to serve deserve to be honored and respected by us (and each other) because what they are doing and have done is/was not an easy job. Feel free to disagree with policies and conflicts and exercise your right to protest even if you should so choose. But point your feelings at the issues and not the person in the uniform. Justification for any conflict is an issue I will not get into because that is not what this post is about. This post is about taking a moment out of our day to remember and raise a glass, give a toast, and say a prayer for those who have served and who do serve.
Have a blessed day today.
(Here is a past Memorial Day post of mine which has been popular with many readers)