Memorial Day had its beginning in May of 1868, just three years after the Civil War ended, as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of those who died in battle and remember. Today, it evokes all kinds of thoughts and emotions for people.
Remembering those who have gone before inspires me to live well. We are the living legacy of the preceding generations and that carries both a challenge and a responsibility.
Since I went into labor 24 years ago on Memorial Day weekend and delivered a beautiful baby girl, that’s my natural association with Memorial Day. The circle of life…it seems rather fitting.
This year, the young husband of a treasured family friend was killed in Afghanistan. Capt. David Lyon and his wife, Dana, are in my thoughts as I write. They were both on their last deployment and had so many plans for a bright future together. I have another friend who lost her son in conflict in Iraq in 2006 who is personally offended when people say, “Happy Memorial Day.” She maintains there’s nothing happy about this somber holiday. Having never lost a child, I can’t say I truly understand her pain, but I can only imagine. But I don’t think anyone means to minimize the sacrifice of those who have served our country and gave their lives so that we can be free. Nevertheless, I’m careful about my words now and wish you a “memorable weekend”.
Whatever plans your weekend holds, I think living fully with a grateful heart is a tribute to those we honor. Make every day count. Life is a gift.