Memorial Day Weekend is upon us. While it’s a time to honor those who have died serving in our armed forces, it has also become a time to remember all our deceased loved ones. While growing up, every Memorial Day Weekend we went to the cemetery as a family, often with our surviving grandmothers, to tidy up the plots, clean the gravestones, set flowers, and pay our respects once more. The names and connections would be explained to us again and, inevitably, the stories and memories would follow. We learned not only of their military service, but of their histories, personalities, talents, and, dare I say, exploits. They became real to us, though many of them passed before my siblings and I were born or when we were very, very young. It has given us all stronger roots and a better understanding of who we are, how we got here, and where we can go in this world. It’s interesting to learn from whom we may have picked up the musical talent, the mechanical knack, the love of driving, or the crazy hair.
This weekend, when gathering with friends and family, take the time to remember. Put down the electronics and really talk and connect. Thank our soldiers for their service and ask if they would mind talking about it. Chat up the older folks. Their memories and experiences are a gold mine of information that can enrich your sense of self. Record the stories. Take pictures. Share the laughter. I guarantee you will be surprised by all you learn.
To all our Service men and women who have paid the ultimate price, a prayer and a sincere "thank you".