Happy day after Memorial Day! I hope you got to enjoy a three-day weekend and that you had a good time. We certainly did. In fact, we even had, what has become the Memorial Day tradition, a cookout! And of course, we went to visit my Dad.
There was some chatter, at least locally, about how nobody celebrates Memorial Day correctly anymore. Their complaint is that Memorial Day is supposed to be a quiet, somber day of reflection to remember and honour only those lives lost in battle. I disagree.
Historically yes. The first year that Memorial Day was nationally recognized was 1868, though it had been regionally noted as early as 1861 as "Cemetery Day". It was intended, then, as a day to honour those lives lost in the Civil War. The country was nearly destroyed by an internal war that divided the nation, cities, towns and families. It was a deep rupture that took a long time to heal. And the country needed something to stitch that gap together so that we could begin that slow, painful road back. Having a designated day as one unified country to acknowledge our losses brought us one step closer to moving forward as people acknowledged that they all had one thing in common. Grief.
First of all, how better to honour those lives lost than to celebrate life! That is, after all, what they fought for: family, friends and freedom. The sacrifices made by those we have lost is empty if we do not enjoy the gifts they granted. Contrary to some popular beliefs, soldiers do not fight for some faceless, nameless corporate ideal. They fight for their families and the life they want their loved ones to live. So enjoy your life to the maximum extent you possibly can and that includes a lot of laughter.
Secondly, Memorial Day is no longer just to remember the fallen. My Dad served in the Navy, his brother in the Army. Tim, his older brother and their father all were in the Marine Corps. The fact that all of these fine men returned home does not diminish what they did. That fact of the matter is that all of them were willing to sacrifice their lives for us, had it been necessary. And that deserves recognition.
So I hope you had a great weekend. I hope you spent time with people you care about, that you enjoyed good conversation, a lot of laughs and some amazing food. And I also hope you remembered.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.