For the first time in several years, we are celebrating Memorial Day on the original day, May 31st. Originally set up, the day was to remember and honor all those who served in wars to protect us and died doing so.
As I remember the day, our family remembered those relatives who died serving our country. We flew our American flag from our porch post. We went to the various cemeteries to honor those family members who were buried there and plant flowers.
More recently the holiday’s morphed into that and a long weekend which people in the Midwest see as the first sign of summer. In warmer states, summer heat has likely been upon them for several weeks.
This morning at 7:30, water skiers were already scooting along the lake’s calm waters. The Coast Guard helicopter has made its first shoreline scout, hovering just a bit above the treeline. One of our neighbors is flying the flag of Ireland as well as the US flag. He and his wife were born in Ireland, and Bart served in the US military.
This weekend I’ll be thinking a great deal about those who’ve lost their lives protecting mine and our country. My Dad and several uncles served in WWII. I had a cousin who survived the Korean War only to die in an accident two days after returning home. Two of my brothers served during the Viet Nam conflict. I have a nephew in the Marines now and many friends who have grandchildren currently serving.
I’ll also be remembering family and friends who have died. They didn’t serve in a military way, but they protected family by being there and keeping up with their responsibilities and handling the life crises they encountered. They endured and loved the country that offered them the chances to better themselves and their families.
I hope all of you take a bit of time from what promises to be a perfect holiday weekend to start our Midwestern summer and honor those who’ve given their lives to serve and protect our country, our communities, us.
Have a happy, safe, and thoughtful Memorial Day.