Friday, May 28, 2010
MEMORIAL DAY ~ Remember!
One of my favorite holidays is Memorial Day. It means the end of the school year is looming and a summer of longer days and sleeping a little longer too. It saddens me that so many people treat it as a day of vacation from work or school, not that I'm guilt-free in that regard. But I was lucky enough to have a grandmother who treated the holiday with the respect that it deserved.
When I was little, we always used to visit my grandparents for the long weekend. My grandma's brother had died serving in WWII and every Memorial Day, she went to the cemetery with flowers to put on Carlisle's grave. I was too young to realize the significance of her actions but I do remember them. On a side note, this particular cemetery had peacocks that strutted around the hillside and grandma would always let me sit and watch the birds until they finally unfurled their tails into the glorious, multi-colored arc. Poignant memories but valuable, too. It doesn't matter what religion, race or political persuasion we are, we are all Americans, served by men and women who fight for our freedoms.
Some Memorial Day facts:
The holiday was originally known as 'Decoration Day' and first observed May 30, 1868 to help the country conquer the horrors and divide after the Civil War.
Memorial Day did not become a federally recognized national holiday until 1971.
At 3:00 PM local time, there is a one-minute 'Moment of Remembrance'. According to Remember.gov, this is "an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who died for our freedom. It will help to reclaim Memorial Day as the sacred and noble holiday it was meant to be. In this shared remembrance, we connect as Americans."
This Monday, talk to your kids and help them understand the importance of remembering the brave veterans who fought and died for our freedoms. And take a moment as well for yourself, to forget about how challenging your life may be and simply appreciate for a day what makes our country so great and how fortunate you are.