Arlington Cemetery - taken Sept 2006

Arlington Cemetery – Taken Sept 2006

Most people consider this long weekend a time for fun with barbeques, picnics and beer. But do they know the true meaning of why they are celebrating? Do you?

For those of us who had or have family and friends who serve(d) in the military. We know. Even more importantly for those who have lost loved ones while serving. This is what Memorial Day is all about.

Originally called “Decoration Day,” back in 1861, the first Civil War soldier’s grave was decorated. The first widely publicized observance of a Memorial Day-type observance after the Civil War was in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 1, 1865. There are conflicting stories as to when Memorial Day truly began. (You can find more information out on the web and Wikipedia.)

My purpose of writing about today is merely due to my passion, respect, and love for our country.

In my heart of hearts I feel we should teach our children why they get these long weekends. Yes, enjoy the holiday, picnics and all. But respect is learned and it starts in the home. We see all kinds of pictures posted on Facebook, Twitter, etc. about our men and women who paid the ultimate price to give us the freedoms we know and take for granted. Explain this to your kids. It is not only part of our history, it is our present and future. Forever.

On my first sabbatical in 2006, my husband and I took a trip to Washington, DC and visited Arlington Cemetery. Unless you have experienced that, you can never really know the impact. We also experienced the Vietnam Memorial.

Vietnam Memorial Wall

Vietnam Memorial Wall

We witnessed people scratching names onto a piece of paper directly from the wall. There were combat boots laying on the ground nearby. It was heart-wrenching. We know, since we have family and friends who were drafted and deployed there. Some didn’t come back the same and their experience in that awful war has affected them in one way or another—forever. Please don’t forget this.

We then moved on to the Korea Memorial.

Korea Memorial

Korea Memorial

We saw thousands upon thousands of names on the wall and gravesites of our fallen. Engraved on one wall was “Freedom is not Free.” FREEDOM-Is-Not-Free It gave us both chills. Truth. And this is for all of us.

So, before you take that first bite or guzzle of beer, say a thankful, sincere prayer for the families who lost their loved ones who aren’t there to enjoy the holidays with them anymore, who died for your freedom and mine. Then celebrate your day in honor of those fallen.

I get it. Do you?


Signing off as,

Thankful and proud of our service men & women.

Chrissy <><