It seems we wake up one morning and the buds on the trees have opened into beautiful shades of green, we can walk out to get the paper without being bundled in a coat, and the birds are joyfully singing. Summer has come.
Today is Memorial Day and along with the solemn celebrations to remember those who have served our country, we use this holiday to mark the beginning of summer. That’s not the purpose of the holiday, but over the years, it seems to have morphed into that meaning. Ads lure us to buy beach chairs and swimsuits, hotdogs and chips, and anything else that will make our weekend enjoyable. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in the excitement of enjoying the outdoors, don’t forget the meaning of the Memorial Day, a day to honor the veterans who gave their lives while serving our country.
I hope to find time to visit the National Cemetery. Because Dad served during WWII, both he and Mom are buried there. The quiet beauty of the acres of land with its rows and rows of simple tombstones will be magnified with thousands of small American flags by each marker. It’s an awesome, emotional sight to experience.
The first time I visited a National Cemetery was in Hamm, Luxembourg, when my husband and I lived in Germany during one of his tours with the Air Force. Here the tombstones were simple concrete crosses. We found the grave for General George Patton. He wanted to be buried among his men who died at the Battle of the Bulge, and his grave looks no different from the others, very simple, very touching.
As you’re enjoying the beginning of summer today, I hope you have time to experience one of the ceremonies to mark the remembrance of Memorial Day.
It’s the beginning of summer, but it’s also something much, much more meaningful.