Dad's friend, "Woody" buried at Arlington National Cemetary
No, I’m not asking what you’re going to barbecue on your day off or which pool party to attend first, but really, what does Memorial Day mean to you? Though Memorial Day weekend is often known for its kickoff to summer cele br ations, it is also a holiday that is held near and dear to veterans and family members across the globe. It’s supposed to be a time to reflect on those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. A special day to commemorate friends, family members, loved ones and ancestors we have lost while serving our country.
For people like my grandparents, who attend the Memorial Day parade in their hometown of Ramsey, NJ every year, it’s a chance to think back on friends they had that are no longer with us. Whether it was friends my grandfather made while serving in the Navy during the Korean War or people he had grown up with his whole life, it is a day of reflection for him.
For people like my dad, a retired Marine Corps Colonel, it’s a chance to think back on friends he has lost during the Gulf War, 9/11 and most recently in Iraq . A chance to remember the good times and forget the bad.
For me, coming from a military family, it is a chance to think about my family members personally affected by this day. I think about my dad and the friends he no longer gets to share laughs with anymore and my grandpa and the sailors he once served with that never had a chance to attend one of the Tin Can Sailor reunions that him and grandma go to every year.
So friends, now it’s your turn, what does Memorial Day mean to you?