This week my Facebook has bloomed with reminders of the “real” meaning of Memorial Day. Like many in the military community, I’m bothered by the general commercialization of such a day. I depise the media’s insistence on “honoring” anyone who has ever done anything remotely related to service. It’s not that many of these people don’t deserve to be honored and admired. But is it really that difficult to simply honor the fallen. To take one day to remember that there have been those sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sister, moms and dads who stepped up to the plate and gave their lives to preserve our right to live the way we want.
I don’t get angry about it anymore though. What’s the point? If those soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen were home celebrating with their families this weekend, what would they be doing? Grilling, hanging out, maybe catching a great sale at the mall or catching a baseball game with their kid. Last year, in all seriousness, I asked my husband if he was offended by the commercialization of Memorial Day. In short, he said: “that this weekend, unlike most of our hectic lives, is about enjoying the time we have and people in our lives, and isn’t that really what our soldier’s are fighting for? To preserve the freedoms that allow us to take a day off from obligation, relax and enjoy all that we have.”
So instead of worrying about those who fail to appreciate the incredible gift they’ve been given, I’m going to focus my energy on making sure that my son understands. That he knows why his dad gets up before the sun and puts on the uniform. We’ll grill, enjoy some watermelon, and lay wreaths at the local memorial.
We’ll take a moment to say thank you and we’ll take the day to enjoy the gift of the fallen’s sacrifice.
Throughout the military community, people celebrate and honor Memorial Day in a variety of ways. I’d encourage you to take a moment and read through some of the milspouse blogging community’s thoughts on this day.