Happy Memorial Day!-What's it all about?

Happy Memorial Day to you and yours!  I pray you had an amazing day with family and friends.  I wanted to pen a few words about this holiday and it will probably get buried quickly because our next blog topic for the Flats & Handwashing Challenge will be up soon, but hopefully someone will see it and appreciate it.

So why do we celebrate Memorial Day?  We all know what we get on Memorial Day: a day off, an excuse to grill out with as many family members and friends as we can muster, a chance to watch the kids run and play while we sip cola and visit.  Maybe it's a family tradition to go camping this weekend every year.  After all, the weather is usually perfect blending from spring into summer. 

But really-WHY do we celebrate Memorial Day?  We hear a lot of very special Memorial Day wishes due to my husband's service.  We are always very grateful, but he only left his leg in Iraq...his day is Veteran's Day.  What about all the men and women who gave up their lives in service for this country?  The families left behind to mourn?  THEY are the REAL reason we celebrate Memorial Day.  And it sounds so cutesy because we've heard it a million times.

The sobering fact is, this should be a day for mourning the lives lost to afford us the freedoms we have.  Do we think about those freedoms very often?  The freedom to worship as we choose without being hunted down and murdered-the freedom to write our opinions on our blogs for all to see and not be shot over them-the freedom to elect and subsequently kick out whomever we deem fit/unfit to represent this nation.  *Insert your favorite freedoms here*  Fact is, most countries in the world do not experience these freedoms.  We should be somber and prayerful as we consider those who've lost their lives so that we can have our own.

So why do we CELEBRATE??  The answer to that is one that continues to cut deep into my heart.  My wonderful friend Karie from EBV-F, who writes at Wife [widow] of a Wounded Warrior knows the cost of this day and she also knew her amazing husband, Cleve.  And I think she would agree that the reason we celebrate is because each and every one of the men and women who gave their lives for us wants us to move forward, continuing to be Americans and continuing to do what Americans do in their memory-because *that* is how we'll avenge their deaths.  The enemy sees us celebrating when they think we should be mourning and they shudder, wondering what secret we have.

But what are Americans?  We can say a lot of things but it could be argued that it comes down to 2 outlooks. 
  1. We are a Blessed nation, under God, who uses its collective knowledge, resources and overall unity to overcome all obstacles. 
  2. We are a rich, arrogant nation who only care for ourselves. 
Which are you celebrating today?  Today I went outside with my loving family and uncovered the grill and ate burgers, hot dogs and drank soda while the kids played in the sprinkler and drank juice from pouches.  Later we may roast marshmallows and make s'mores because we are just that kind of Blessed.  But the brave soldiers who have given their lives and can't be here to do these things are not far from my mind and I want to continue to honor them tomorrow and the next day by being sure I remember that we live in the most Blessed nation on earth, because of God and I will strive to use my knowledge, resources and brotherly love to create the unity necessary to keep overcoming obstacles. 
I was going for Normal Rockwell with my limited photo editing capabilities.

1 comment:

Gayle said...

That was truly the most beautiful and true post that I have read about Memorial Day. Your words flowed like Gold today. :)