Today is Memorial Day, and being nine months pregnant and having difficulties at the end this will be the first time in a while where I will probably do nothing for Memorial Day. It is strange to me that people think of Memorial Day as a day to celebrate or party. Growing up Memorial Day was a day we, my siblings and I, were taught to remember those who died in battle, or from their injuries sustained in battle. Saying “Happy Memorial Day” seemed weird and awkward. We went to parades and barbecues on base where a prayer would be said before each event. We never forgot why we were there.
In the south, where my father’s family is from, Memorial Day begins a time called “Decoration.” Where family members would go to their family’s grave sites and place flowers and just clean up the area.
I was raised to remember that Memorial Day is a day to remember those who died, but nowadays it seems as though people forget what the day is for. Memorial Day seems to be taken as nothing but a three day weekend, the beginning of barbecuing season, and another day for stores to have giant sales. The respect and solemnity of the day does not seem to be a part of the culture. Yes the barbecue can be a celebration of the lives that were lost, but we have to remember that it is a day to honor the dead.
Luckily I do not have any friends or family who have died in battle, but today when I say my prayers those brave men and women who passed away due to battle will be there. And to those who have served, thank you for being willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. America isn’t perfect, but it is an experiment still worth fighting for.