According to several tweets I’ve read this morning, people aren’t exactly clear about why we celebrate this holiday.
While some folks are offended by their fellow Americans’ lack of information, I blame TV. Because no one ever produced a claymation Memorial Day Special, entire generations grew up uneducated about the holiday.
How are we supposed to learn anything if we can’t be plopped down in front of the TV and left on our own to absorb important information?
According to Google, Memorial Day is “a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered“.
Veterans Day is the holiday that honors those who served in the military.
I hope that helps clear up the confusion. I know it’s not the same as watching It’s Memorial Day, Charlie Brown, but just picture Linus saying those last two sentences to you while Snoopy dances behind him.
Major League Baseball is adding to the confusion. All the teams are wearing uniforms with camouflage added to the design. I’m watching the Yankees game on ESPN and they just ran a piece honoring baseball players who served in the military.
No mention of players who died serving their country. Now the announcers are talking about the sacrifice players made to leave baseball behind to serve in World War II.
I’ve been watching the Yankees all weekend, and the cameras kept cutting to men and women in military uniform at the games.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing wrong with thanking veterans for their service on Memorial Day, but don’t forget the true heroes. This is their holiday, and while they are not around to receive your thanks, they can still be in your thoughts and prayers.
As you can see from the opening photo of this post, the American flag is flying proudly at The House on the Hill today in honor of our fallen heroes.
I do not know anyone who gave his or her life in the service of this country, but I know that I might not have the freedoms I enjoy today if not for the sacrifices made by generations of total strangers.
The world might be a confusing place in which to live at the moment, and some holidays apparently are not as well defined than others, but one thing is perfectly clear: we owe so much to people we never met, who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.
So enjoy your Memorial Day however you want. I went for a long run this morning, and now I’m writing and watching my beloved Yankees.
Maybe you plan to fire up the barbecue, go to a party, or spend the day with loved ones.
Just try to take some time today to think not only of those who we honor on this holiday, but also about those families who have an empty space at the table, or who will be spending the day at the cemetery because Memorial Day has affected them on a much more personal level.
True heroes don’t wear capes or have superpowers. They are regular men and women who wear the uniforms of our Armed Forces. Sometimes, they go out to protect us and don’t come home.
This is the official day on which we honor them, but they should always be in our thoughts.
Happy Memorial Day.
Be honest…were you clear on why we celebrate Memorial Day?