Most people consider this long weekend a time for fun and barbeques. But do they know the true meaning of why they are celebrating?
For those of us who had or have family and friends who served 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 2007, 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 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 then moved on to the 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.” It gave us both the chills. Truth. And this is for all for us.
So, before you take that first bite, say a thankful prayer for the families who lost their loved ones who aren’t there to enjoy the holidays with them anymore. 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.