This weekend, friends and family gather for some much needed together time. They fire up the barbecue grill, make travel plans for the big road trip or family reunion, they look forward to a much needed day off, and most get paid for that day too! Sounds like an awesome weekend, doesn’t it? In stores we see signs that say “Special Memorial Day Sale! Up to 75% off!” What harm is there in doing some shopping and scoping out the big deals? What harm is there in enjoying this awesome weekend? What is the harm in eating some awesome food and drinking a beer with some friends? Is there anything wrong with having an awesome road trip or enjoying a nice “well deserved” day off? The answers to these questions depends on your understanding on what this weekend is all about.
Everywhere you go you can hear people wishing each other “Happy Memorial Day”, and in almost every Facebook feed, you see Happy Memorial Day posts. All of this is good, but it is not what this weekend is about. This weekend there is a wife, who wishes she could have just one more second with her husband. There is a child, who wishes for just one more embrace by daddy or mommy. There is a mother or father who wishes for just one more phone call with their son or daughter. Celebrating and enjoying time together this weekend is a very good thing, as long as we remember what we are celebrating and why we are celebrating this weekend.
Memorial Day is not just another excuse to throw a party. Memorial Day is not just another reason to drink some beer. Memorial Day is not just another day to enjoy those extra hours of sleep because you don’t have to work. Memorial Day is none of this. Memorial Day is about respecting and remembering those who served their country and paid the ultimate sacrifice. All of those headstones and crosses seen at Arlington National Cemetery and many other cemeteries across the nation are what this day is all about. Today we celebrate and honor those who made it possible for us to enjoy all the freedoms we have today. So this and every Memorial Day, take a moment in silence, visit a military cemetery, thank a family member of a fallen soldier for their sacrifice. Always remember that without the sacrifices of so many, we might not be here today. Happy Memorial Day everyone! Be safe, and always remember what this weekend is truly all about.