As I write this, it is Memorial Day.
I work in the retail industry and have witnessed thousands over the last three days purchasing goods to enjoy their long weekend with friends. This year, as with most every year lately, I see social media posts berating those that would wish one a “Happy Memorial Day”. I understand the sentiment. I understand the ease with which we do not remember that Memorial Day is to remember those that lost their lives during war defending our freedom. Perhaps the day isn’t to be celebrated, but, rather, those that did not return home.
Last night, a neighbor was shooting off fireworks just after 9:30 PM. It did make me wonder what their association was between an incendiary display and the remembrance of the dead was. Certainly Independence Day is cause for such activity, but perhaps not so much so on a day that, in my heart is much more austere.
I don’t care, or correct, those that would wish me a Happy Memorial Day. I wish everyone, every day to be good, and it is on Memorial Day that I actively use my imagination to think of those that served and died. Who were they? What did they do for fun? What made them laugh? What music did they enjoy, and what plans did they have?
I am grateful. I am solemn. I will not go out and buy a mattress because the local bedding store is shouting at me.
I become more pensive, and I think about the kind of life I am leading. Does it honor their sacrifices? Am I doing worthy work? Am I making my community a place of peace and encouragement?
I think so. I’m sincerely trying to.
So for those that fought – at any time, and left loved ones behind. I remember, and I make my own life a living memorial to them by doing what I believe they would have done themselves.