This is a holiday that I did not truly appreciate until my older years. It quickly forwards into a long weekend marking the first official weekend of summer when the pools open and everybody hosts a BBQ. Lots of drinking, partying and not getting much sleep. You may learn about Memorial Day in school when you’re younger, but if you aren’t paying attention, then you could miss the point completely.
Quite a few of my family members were in the armed forces, and so there was always a high respect for the military. You can’t hang around my pop for more than an hour without him bringing up some story about the war, which is a reality check for people like me who have never been on the front lines of anything like that. It has really taught me to have some respect for those volunteers and for those assigned. It’s a shame that many take those men and women for granted, and a shame that this day may even pass by without a moment of silence to thank them.
Upon doing some research, I found some Memorial Day History & Facts that you might enjoy. There is also a website called iCasualties that is very informative. It charts military casualties by year, fatalities by province, country and more. It has a fatalities page that lists the date, name, age, rank, cause, province, unit, branch and place of death. It is eye opening to read these names and to see that so many of them are in their twenties! There are people of all ages of course, but the majority were in their twenties. It may only read off as a name to most of us, but there is a whole life behind that name. We shouldn’t take that for granted.
I know that I will teach my children the meaning of this holiday, formerly known as Decoration Day. Thank you to all who have served, and who are serving.
“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” ~Maya Angelou