Memorial Day, for many it is an opportunity to enjoy in a long weekend. Retailers use it for an occasion for sales. It marks the onset of summer and we take time to play and socialize. I am one who likes any chance to relax, enjoy myself and cannot resist a bargain.
Yet, Memorial Day did not begin with this intention. It was originally known as Decoration Day and it began an occasion to honor Union soldiers who had died during the Civil War. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women.
For many of us war and loss are part of reality. We raise the flag and visit our loved ones at the cemetery. I have been traveling lately and when I get off the plane I see the USO greeting these young soldiers and the surrounding travelers clapping and thanking those who serve. I feel an upwelling of gratitude and awe at the courage it takes to serve our country.
On Monday, take a few moments and reflect on the cost of war. This is not a political statement but a human experience of love, gratitude and inner peace.
Let me know in the comments below about your Memorial Day thoughts.