It’s Memorial Day today in the U.S. and most are visiting family and friends, grilling out and celebrating being together. Having a day off at the first of the work week is always a good thing.
My husband and I watched a television program last night dedicated to remembering veterans. A journalist interviewed a young soldier that had PTSD so severely, he could hardly sleep and during the interview, he could hardly speak without crying. He kept seeing the face of his commander that he wasn’t able to save. The young man, who went through this at the age of 18, said that after he returned from war, he would become very angry when people would complain about trivial things. He said something like, people have no idea that people are dying every day, just so they can enjoy the lives they have. It was heartbreaking to watch and even the journalist was moved nearly to tears.
We see snippets of these events, oftentimes soldiers living under conditions we can’t imagine and we think it’s terrible and then we go on about our lives. They live it, every day, and die for it and they know going in, that they may have to pay that ultimate sacrifice.
This day was proclaimed as official after the Civil War and although there appears to be much speculation as to what state started the practice (once known as Decoration Day for honoring and decorating the graves of soldiers), it’s meaning has always been the same: To honor and remember veterans (and their families) who pay the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy those backyard barbecues, parties and family get-togethers that are going on during the weekend and today and all the other freedoms that we sometimes take for granted.
This morning, we watched one of those morning news show where a general was interviewed. He has to write those letters and make those phone calls to mothers, fathers and families and give them a folded flag when a soldier is killed in action. He asked that people take a moment to remember these men and women who despite their personal/political beliefs go, without question and serve in our military to protect all of our freedoms.
I hope that you and yours have a wonderful Memorial Day and you’ll take a moment to pay homage to our veterans and their families — they deserve recognition, respect and remembrance.
good reminder about what today is really supposed to be about. it’s become a day to have a party and celebrate that you’re off of work and out of school – not what how this “holiday” came about! it’s kind of sad what priorities are lately…
It’s a great day for families and friends to get together; just important to remember what it’s really about, I think. Thank you, Emi. :).
It would be wonderful if we all remember that a minute of silence at 3:00 P.M.
Great post! Thanks. 🙂
Thanks so much!!
Remembrance is a state of being, not just a holiday or an event. I find that when I cultivate that state of remembrance, the expressions of gratitude, generosity, love flow more freely. It’s a sunny day in NYC and I will take this state of remembrance with me when I take my walk along the Hudson. Thank you, Brigitte!
That is so true and very eloquently put. Thanks so much for your kind comment and have a lovely walk along the Hudson. :).
Thanks for your post. I too will have the day off from regular work, but I am remembering those who gave the ultimate scarifice for our country.
Hi Carolyn, thank you! And your blog is lovely, btw. :).
Loving your post! Have a Great Day!
Thank you, you too. :).
I can’t imagine what it’s like for these soldiers, so young and to have seen so many horrifying, ugly things. Or what it’s like for that poor general, to have to write those letters and give such awful news to families.
Thanks for a great post as always, Brigitte!
I know, we are very lucky, we are. Thanks so much for your nice comment, MW–it’s always so appreciated. :).
One of the things I love when visiting the US is how Americans honour those who serve their country. I’ve been in airports in many of the States and have seen passengers erupt into applause when soldiers walk by and always people walk right up to them and shake their hands and thank them. It’s very touching and brings tears to my eyes every time. We don’t honour our military enough in Canada but I am thankful for their service as well. Thanks for writing this piece.
What a nice comment and thank YOU so much for taking the time to do so. It’s so appreciated, Diana.
Our Memorial Day equivalent is ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) Day and occurs on 25 April. It’s always a poignant day and serves as a reminder of our freedoms as a result of sacrifice of others. PTSD is far more common than we think and it is time that it has received prominance. Nice post.
Thank you for sharing that. I think it’s important that we all remember those who protect our freedoms and I’m certain you’re right about PTSD. So appreciate your comment.