Unless you were in a war or had friends or relatives that fought or died in a war, chances are that you don’t have as much connection with this holiday as many others. In this country it is a very special day of remembrance for those who died in our nation’s service.
On this day many Americans visit the grave sites of the departed and decorate it with flowers, a reef, or flag in order to give tribute for the ultimate sacrifice paid by our many service members.
We should truly honor them greatly because it was because of their ultimate sacrifice that allows us to enjoy the great democracy and freedom we have here in America. There is no greater gift one person can give than their life for the benefit of others.
Typically we take this day as the first unofficial day of summer kicking off a more laid back time of year for start of the vacation season, a time away from school, work, and summer activities.
Like most holidays the real meaning behind them has been lost in the shuffle as people just look forward to an extended holiday weekend.
This holiday, formally known as Decoration Day, as in decorating the grave sites, was first enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil war but was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.
It also was extended to incorporate ordinary people visiting the grave sites of deceased relatives regardless of their affiliation with the military. It is a day of remembrance of the departed.
The spirit of the holiday is one that is somewhat somber, but as in most holidays we treat it as a long weekend devoted to gatherings of friends and family, shopping, fireworks, trips to the beach, and popular sports activities.
For those of you who are still holding down the workforce, enjoy the holiday but at least silently remember the many service men and women that gave their lives that you might be able to enjoy the lives you are currently living.
God Bless America and all those service people that died so we may enjoy this great country.