Memorial Day... how do you celebrate?

Donald has to work on Memorial Day this year.  So my annual traditional task will have to be done alone.  I go to the Veterans Cemetery in Milledgeville and "Decorate" some un-decorated tombstone.  I don't attend bar-be-ques and we don't plan a party and we don't even grill out.  Mind you, I'm not judging you if you do plan or participate in those events, but what I am asking and suggesting that you do is add... just a few moments of thought about what MEMORIAL DAY is truly all about to your celebration.

I'm very happy this year that Memorial Day is actually falling on the last Monday in May.  You see, it's May 30th, not the last Monday in May. 

Please check out How to Observe Memorial Day.  Take a minute now to read about the history of Memorial Day.  Chances are you have lost a loved one who has defended or in defending this great nation.  So have your bar-be-ques and parties, but at 3 p.m. stop and remember the reason you are not at work say a prayer for a soldier and their family. 

Or better yet, visit your own local cemetery and place a flower or wreath, or visit the nearest VA hospital to your location and visit with a wounded veteran.  The reason we live in a great nation is on the blood, sweat and tears of our men and women in uniform. 

Armed Services Day was last Saturday May 21st.  From what I could see it went largely un-noticed.  What a shame.  If we as a nation can't celebrate and honor our living men and women in uniform can't we at least stop to honor the fallen?

I bet if you Google "fallen soldier (your city)" you will find the name and face of some young man or woman who gave their life in service to their country.  Memorial Day isn't a day about honoring war, it's day of honoring our fallen. Yes, it might take a little research to find the address of the parents, the sons and daughters, the spouse left alone to carry on without their loved one.  But you are getting a day off... make it count, do something of value with it.  Close your eyes for just one moment and imagine it was your loved one who didn't make it home... What would it mean to you to receive a call, flowers, a note, a visit from a stranger who cared enough to let you know how much that life meant.  It will only take a few minutes out of your weekend and it will mean the world to those lives you touch.

I come from a small community, I also come from a family with a history of service.  My husband does as well.  My mother's father served in the Army during WWII.  My father served and his service was involuntarily extended during the Vietnam conflict although he was fortunate enough not to actually serve in a war zone.  He served in the Navy.  My uncle Johnny, no so lucky was shot and killed by a sniper in Vietnam.  His body was escorted back to the United States by my Uncle Nelson who was in the region. 

My Donald was a "Navy Brat" moving form port city to port city during his entire childhood and teenage years.  Then in his early 20's he joined the army and served during and in Desert Storm in the gulf region. My brother-in-law Kevin also served his country.  My brother-in-law Andrew has spent his adult life building ships for the Navy and Air Force (although as a civilian I see this as service to his country).

Do between now and next Monday... please make it your mission to in some way honor our fallen.  And enjoy your bar-be-que.

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Comment balloon 18 commentsTammy Lankford • May 25 2011 02:54PM
Memorial Day… how do you celebrate?
Donald has to work on Memorial Day this year. So my annual traditional task will have to be done alone. I go to the Veterans Cemetery in Milledgeville and "Decorate" some un-decorated tombstone. I don't attend bar-be-ques and we don't… more
Memorial Day- it's not about grilling
Decoration Day! That's what it's supposed to be about. I won't be visiting the grave of my uncle Johnny Wall (who was killed in Vietnam), BUT I will be visiting the local veterans cemetery. I don't know who I'll choose this year, but I… more