Monday, May 30, 2016

Take Time to Remember

by Fran McNabb
From family gatherings to solemn ceremonies—Memorial Day is a dichotomy of feelings.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day set aside to remember those who died in the service of our country. The origins can be traced to the Civil War when General John Logan proclaimed a day be set aside for decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country.
Today ceremonies to remember those veterans who lost their lives still take place throughout the country. Many national cemeteries honor the dead by placing American flags by each tombstone. In some cities speeches are given, dinners for veterans are shared, and Americans in general pay homage to our fallen soldiers.

But over the years Memorial Day has taken on another meaning. Unofficially it marks the beginning of summer. Like all holidays, we can’t get away from the commercial side of the day.  Ads encourage 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.

I live on the Gulf Coast, and like so many others I look forward to enjoying a day on the water if the weather cooperates. The local barrier islands lure us to spend the day boating and swimming, and the Sunday before Memorial Day has become the favorite boating day. As I’m writing this, I just changed from my wet bathing suit and my husband is still washing the salt water off the boat. Today the weather was beautiful and the island was packed. It was wonderful to see so many enjoying the island's beauty.

 I hope in the excitement of enjoying the outdoors all of us will take the time to remember the meaning of Memorial Day, a day to honor the veterans who gave their lives while serving our country.

It is the beginning of summer, but it’s also something much, much more meaningful. Take time to remember.

FRAN MCNABB lives along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and looks forward to the warm days of summer to boat, fish, and enjoy the waters of the Mississippi Sound. When not on the water, she’s at her computer penning light romances. Her publishing credits include eight published novels, many of which use the coastal area as their setting. Visit her at or at


  1. Well said, Fran. No need to add more.

    1. Thanks, Sandy. All of our veterans deserve to be remembered, especially those who have given their lives.

  2. Well said, Fran. Memorial Day is one of the most important national commemorations in this country and one of the oldest, yet so many of us don't know (or care) what this day truly means. I've been saddened by the disrespect and hateful desecrations of war memorials over this weekend and struggle to remember that there are still good people in America. Thank you for reassuring me.

  3. Leigh, the desecration of war memorials is so senseless and shows the ignorance some people have for the history of our country. It renews the faith, though when hundreds of people show up to place flags on tombstones at national cemeteries. Maybe it will rub off on the others who have no respect for anything it seems.

  4. Hi Fran--
    Thank you for this wonderful post, and the reminder of the origin of the holiday.