Memorial Day. The “unofficial” start of summer. Barbecues and home improvement projects. I will admit that I look forward to Memorial Day just as much as the next guy. Even today, while I made my Dill Potato Salad, I day-dreamed about how I would spend my summer. But how did you use this extra day off?
Growing up, my dad was in the Navy. Not just in the Navy, but career Navy. We actually had a brass eagle mounted to our mantle just above the fireplace. We were definitely a patriotic family. My brother was in Boy Scouts, so every Memorial Day, we would go to the local cemetery and sing God Bless America while gun shots were fired. It was very moving for me, even at a young age. I was more than aware of why we celebrated Memorial Day. But how can I emphasize the importance of this day to my kids the same way that my parents did with me?
Enter my extremely America-loving husband! Every year, we pop our Patriotic CD into the minivan and drive slowly through our closest National Cemetery, crying. It’s sad. It’s happy. It’s beautiful. It’s encouraging. Encouraging to know that, even though so many men and women have taken their lives so fearlessly for me and for you, there are still many more anxiously awaiting to serve. Wow! God Bless America!
So. How will you pass on your Memorial Day traditions to your kids? Will it be about how many rooms in your house you can get organized on this extra day off? Or finding the greatest sales at your local mall? Or will you really remember that man, woman, brother, father, mother, sister that died for you?