We all love a good long weekend. There’s nothing better than having an extra day off to relax, avoid responsibilities, and spend time with loved ones. Especially at the beginning of summer, it’s the best time to head to the beach or pool, and fire up the barbecue. While we all are looking forward to our extra day off today, we also need to keep in mind why we have been given this day off.
Memorial Day, while it may be a great long weekend for us, is also one that can be extremely painful for others. Memorial Day is the day meant to honor those soldiers that have fallen while serving our country. I have always been proud to support our military, and as the granddaughter of a Navy Lieutenant-Commander, that won’t ever change. Luckily, my grandfather served, and was able to retire and return to civilian life and continue living and raising his family with his wife. So many don’t get that luxury. Instead, their families have to deal with the harsh reality of getting that dreaded knock on the door. I can’t even imagine getting a visit like that, and I never want to. I also know that while those families and those soldiers paid the ultimate price for our freedom, that we need to properly honor them and what they did.
There are a few days each year that we specifically set aside to honor our military and the different sacrifices they make for our country. Armed Forces Day, the third Saturday of May, is to honor those who are actively serving our country. Memorial Day is to remember those who have fallen. Veterans Day is to honor those who have served on November 11. While it is never a bad thing to thank a veteran or someone actively serving for their country, it is important to understand that each day is different, and each one holds its own meaning.
So while you are enjoying your long weekend, barbecuing with friends and family, and sitting down for a nice meal, keep in mind all of those families who are setting a table with one less place setting, because their family member made the ultimate sacrifice for us and our freedom. Keep them in mind, and say a prayer for them and their families tomorrow. They gave up everything, so that we can continue to live our lives in peace.