I found myself in a graveyard today. I honestly don’t know how I knew I was meant to go there on this very day, Memorial Day 2018, but my seemingly normal 3 mile walk around the park turned into much more of a thought provoking experience than I expected.
It wasn’t the lines of tiny, plastic American flags lining the driveway, because honestly, there weren’t many. And it wasn’t my usual, morbid curiosity that can get me into trouble sometimes, but rather, a deep-seated knowing I needed to go in that cemetery. Today. And then go write about it.
You see, as I walked along the narrow path in between rows of headstones, toppled over, some broken and so worn I couldn’t read the name, that I began to notice some of these tombstones had American flags and a medallion that read “US Veteran” posted next to it. Wow.
They really fought in a war for our country. For you, for me, so we could live here in the USA and be free to tweet, text, call our besties over for a glass of wine, shop for a new Vuitton bag, or just eat cotton candy with our children on the boardwalk.
So, what exactly is Memorial Day anyway other than a day to barbeque with friends, clean house and catch up on wash? Wikipedia says,
“Memorial Day or Decoration Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, will be held on May 28, 2018. The holiday was held on May 30 from 1868 to 1970. It marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day – Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, whereas Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. It is also not to be confused with Armed Forces Day, a minor U.S. remembrance celebrated earlier in May, which specifically honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.”
So, if you’re in the US, drop everything and go thank a veteran right now, give them a big hug, kiss or a plate of cookies – whatever it takes to show your gratitude for all they’ve done for us.