It’s Memorial Day Weekend, which means many things to many people. It’s often noted as the unofficial start to summer and many people celebrate the weekend with a cookout or other type of get together with friends. Many summer weather attractions like swimming pools and water parks open for the season. It’s also a time that we start to see posts all over social media reminding us not to forget what Memorial Day is all about.
As I’m seeing posts all over my Facebook feed, I have been sharing a few and saying a few resounding “Yeses!” as I read these important reminders. Simply sharing a graphic isn’t enough, though. I knew I had to right a note about Memorial Day because it’s been clear to me that people do often forget what Memorial Day is truly about. Here are the key misconceptions I see:
Memorial Day is a Weekend Celebration
Memorial Day is, indeed, a long weekend, and it is all the things I mentioned – noted as the unofficial start to summer. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with this. Summer attractions have to open sometime, and a three day weekend (and the usually nice weather) is a great time to have a cookout. In fact, my husband helped with a cookout after the church softball game today and we’re going to a cookout tomorrow. Is enjoying the beautiful weather over a long weekend wrong? Of course not! Are we acknowledging that Monday is Memorial Day, though? Maybe not.
Memorial Day is a time to remember those who paid the ultimate price. They sacrificed everything for our country – for our freedom. Should we take some time on Memorial Day to acknowledge this – ABSOLUTELY! We make it a point to look up information on our country’s fallen and teach our children what Memorial Day really means. Whether or not you have children, it’s humbling to read about those who sacrificed it all – to put faces to names and think about what their sacrifice meant. This is what Memorial Day is all about – a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America.
Memorial Day is a day to Acknowledge Current Military and Veterans
It never fails that on Memorial Day, I get tagged in status messages thanking my husband for his service. It makes me cringe. It’s not that I’m not proud of my husband and thankful for his service. He’s a Disabled Veteran. It’s not that I’m not thankful and appreciative of all our Veterans and those currently serving. I know the sacrifices they made and make every day. They have a day for that, though. It’s called Veteran’s Day. There is also Armed Forces Day. These days are reserved for our military and veterans.
Memorial Day, though, is reserved for those that gave all – their life. I think about all the spouses who are now widows, the children who are forever missing their parents, the parents who are forever missing their children, the siblings who are missing their brother or sister – their best friend. Memorial Day means something different to them. It’s the day they remember their loss. When my husband was in The Old Guard and part of the ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery I got a look into this loss, and it’s something I will always carry with me. It reminds me how important Memorial Day is. These families carry their loss every day. Can’t we take time on one day to remember and honor the sacrifice these soldiers made?
National Moment of Remembrance
Now I’m asking you to join me in remembering those who gave all on Memorial Day. The “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”
Just one moment out of our day isn’t a lot, but it’s something we can ban together and do in honor of the sacrifices that were made so we can be free. Will you join me?