I have a confession to make. Before I met Jimmy I was clueless. I had no idea what Memorial Day meant. I had no idea about sacrifice or selflessnes or grief. I truly didn't.
So please take what I'm about to say with that in mind. I'm not claiming that I'm perfect. I am not saying that you aren't allowed to have a party this Monday. In fact, I will be at a neighbor's BBQ this year.
I am not trying to be condescending. But I feel the need to write this post.
What am I saying? I'm saying that Memorial Day is not only about BBQs and the start of summer. It is not all about sales and adult beverages and being at the beach.
I am the first to admit that I get a bit ragey about this time every year. I have a hard time seeing the Memorial Day sale flyers and certain blog posts.
I don't believe that this should be a day for stores to have big blow out sales. We have enough days for that.
I have a hard time with ads like this.
I have a hard time reconciling images like those with images like this one:
I get that some people don't know. But at some point, usually in adulthood, that shouldn't be an excuse.
So what is Memorial Day?
Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel
who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in
battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who
died are also remembered on Veterans Day, Veterans Day is the day set
aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military –
in wartime or peacetime.
See a longer definition HERE.
It's a day to remember those who died. It's not the same as Veteran's Day or Armed Forces Day. It's a day to honor those who died. Simply put.
I have so many friends that cannot say the same thing.
Y'all. I do not expect you to walk around all mopey on Monday.That is not my expectation. But i'm asking for a basic level of realization.
And empathy to the husbands and wives that are widows and widowers this year. The parents who lost a son or daughter. The children who have lost their mommy or daddy.
They should not be forgotten. It's one day. One day to remember.
It's a tough day to explain to kids.
Especially military kids. As I talked to the big girls about the real meaning of Memorial Day this year they were nodding and talking and listening and suddenly Harper's little voice said
"Is Daddy going to die? What if he doesn't come home next time he leaves?"
But I think it's important to talk about it. Talk through it.
That way they will know. They won't think it's all about cookouts and the start of summer. Or that it's only about blowout sales.
Here are some resources.
CNN is honoring 100 faces in 100 hours
10 Memorial Day Traditions more meaningful than BBQs
Talk and Remember. Simple.
Memorial Day parade directory
Time for Kids- The Meaning of Memorial Day
My best advice? Talk to your kids about it. Just talk about it. It's that simple.
I hope you have a beautiful, blessed and relaxing day on Monday. And I hope you take at least a moment to remember why you have the day off.