It is commonly the day that marks the beginning of summer, the day that we all hold big BBQ's, the day we go fishing, the day that we celebrate not having to work (well, many people celebrate not having to work - many do not get the day off).
But what is Memorial Day, really?
In my hometown it has always been a day that many people take flowers to all the graves of their family and friends who have passed on (military service not-required). I don't know if others do that too, but we always did, and this year was no exception. I spent the weekend with my parents, and on Sunday evening we visited the graves of all the important people in our lives who have passed on: my grandparents, great-grandparents, and a couple family friends who died way too young.
Then on Monday morning there is always a big Memorial Day ceremony where the local American Legion and VFW leads a military service to honor those who fell in combat.
And then there's the million + facebook posts thanking veterans for their service, sacrifice, etc.
Honestly I didn't ever really think about it much until this year, but there are a lot of "non-official-Memorial Day" things that are practiced on that day, aren't there?
According to Wikipedia, Memorial Day is:
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the country's armed forces....Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans
So, basically, all those other things we do on this day really aren't part of the reason we are celebrating. Memorial Day is really a very somber holiday that should serve as a reminder of our own military's true sacrifice to keep us free. Because as we know, Freedom Isn't Free.
Isn't it wonderful that we live in a country that allows us to be the kind of parent that we see fit? We can be an attachment parent or a mainstream parent. We can school our children the way we want, we can discipline them the way we feel is most effective, we can train them in what we feel is most important.
We can make the best decisions for our own kids - how fantastic is that?!
Can you imagine being told by some governing authority when you had to stop breastfeeding? How about what books you had to read to your children on a daily basis? What if a governing authority actually thought they could raise your babies better than you?
I am SO grateful to those who have fought and died to protect my husband's and my freedom to raise our children in the way we feel is best. And I'm so glad that you have the same freedom!
So, though every Memorial Day I will continue to remember and honor my beautiful and wonderful grandparents and friends who have died (it was a great opportunity to talk to the kids about their relatives they won't ever meet here on earth, by the way), and I will continue to enjoy delicious grilled burgers and brats, and I will continue to have a wonderful time down at the river fishing with my family, I will always and forever be grateful to those who fought for me - those who died so I can have and enjoy the freedoms to do all these things on this day.
Also? Thank you to the families who have lost their brave soldiers to combat. The sacrifice you have made on my behalf is more than I would ever ask of anyone, and there are no words to thank you for it. I pray peace and healing for your hearts!