Monday, May 27, 2013
My Memorial Day Message
Today America is 'celebrating' Memorial Day. A day that was intended as "a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as D Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service." (via Wiki)
As a Canadian living in the US I have a unique perspective. As a Canadian I have always reflected and remembered our soldiers on Remembrance Day, November 11th which is the same as the US version, Veterans Day. 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, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.
Culturally in the US I understand that this long weekend marks the 'beginning of summer' and people are jovial and excited to break out the BBQ and party. I could not imagine having a party on Remembrance Day. Growing up in Canada I remember it always being a very respectful, solemn day of reflection, appreciation, education and history. It continues to be so in our household today as my mother lays a wreath each Nov 11th for her uncle who was killed at age 22 in WWII fighting for Canada as an ally to the USA.
Every day should be a remembrance day of sorts for our veterans and service members. I teach my daughter about these historical days as well as have her approach and physically THANK (as do I) any service member I see in uniform or veterans with visible pins/hats/stickers as we go about our day. I feel it is important to show respect and teach future generations about the contributions service members make. They, as well as their families make serious sacrifices that none of us can really grasp unless we were in that situation. Their lives are forever changed by choosing to protect ours.
A great way to pay homage to those who gave their lived is approaching each day with gratitude and the knowledge that without the service of others, our lives would cease to exist as we know it. We enjoy all of the fabulous things life has to offer and time with our loved ones because men and women gave up theirs.
I sincerely say THANK YOU.