Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

It's Memorial Day here in the U.S., a day set aside to honor the men and women who have died serving in our military. Many people also take time today to celebrate their loved ones who have passed away, whether they had served in the armed forces or not. Today, too, seems to officially mark the beginning of summer.

Celebrations are wide spread and varied. Services, in churches or cemeteries, parades and community picnics. Or you could always watch the Indianapolis 500.

My family has usually celebrated the day with bbqs or picnics at parks and beaches. There were many years I used to make it a point to visit my sister's grave. She was thirteen when she was killed in a bike/car accident and I was only six. Bringing flowers to her grave was comforting for some reason, but then life got busy and I'm a few hours drive from her grave site, so it's been a while.

This has always been a day of high of emotion for me, so before I start blubbering all over the page, take a moment with me to remember those who have died protecting this country and our freedom. Men and women, much braver than me, who have given their lives to make sure we can live ours in peace.

Pray our troops come home safe and soon from Iraq.

Do you and your family have a Memorial Day tradition?

Helen

5 comments:

Betina Krahn said...

In our family Memorial Day has always been known as "decoration day," a time to remember the dead and go visit grave sites and clean them up after a winter of overgrowth and neglect. Somewhere along the way, the emphasis got shifted to veterans. . . which is okay with me. . . but a bit puzzling since we already had a Veteran's Day in November.

Right now there's a lot of emphasis on our troops and the sacrifice they're making. And rightly so. The news stories on families separated and thousands of miles apart are heart-rending. The image of a mother in Iraq reading a bedtime story to her little daughter in the states (who just learned to walk-- without her) brought tears to my eyes.

God bless our troops and those they were sent to help and protect.

Debra Dixon said...

Great post, Betina.

Makes me stop and think a little more on this day.

Thanks.

Kathleen Eagle said...

I'm late, but this is a topic I want to chime in on. In Indian Country, we clean family graves on Memorial Day. Cemetery maintenance id up to the family, and basically it's prairie grass. Veterans are honored with lots of American flags and VFW ceremonies. It's meaningful to me.

In our family we donate blood. I just did it today. Our daughter and her husband also got us going on a big family donation every Christmas Eve. I like to give for my parents' birthdays as well.

Cindy Gerard said...

I'm sorry I didn't pick up on this post until after the day had passed. We have many Veterans in our family too. They appreciate knowing they're being remembered.

Helen Brenna said...

Oh, Kathy, giving blood is a great way to commemorate this day.