"Can't wait to be back at the beach!", "Memorial Day Weekend isn't ready for us!", "Hype for this weekend!" These, along with similar messages, are flooding my newsfeed as we all anxiously await that three day weekend we all so desperately want and need. We look forward to the parties, the beach, the drinking, great food, etc. It's just about a good time, right? Wrong. Memorial Day Weekend is a time to remember and show our respect for all the men and women who have died in the military for the United States.
I have a sad and embarrassing story to share (only sharing for the sake of making this point). This past weekend and earlier this week, I spent a great majority of my time shopping. As I headed in and out of stores with my friend, we both noticed all the red, white, and blue stuff. We both didn't think much of it until there was not a single store without it. Then we confusedly conferred and decided that it must be for the 4th of July (embarrassing, I know). It didn't occur to me until just the other day as I was in the car with a wandering mind that the 4th of July was most certainly NOT the reason behind all the USA displays.
Talk about feeling like a bad citizen... half of me was mad at myself and embarrassed; although, the other half of me was glad. I was glad that for once, a year didn't go by when I headed into the weekend not thinking about the true meaning of Memorial Day. For once, the reason behind celebration this weekend will occur to me before seeing that Memorial Day parade on my way home from the shore.
I encourage each and every one of you to PLEASE use and share my story with those around you this weekend as a little reminder of what this weekend is all about. It goes right over too many of our heads. I'm not dissing celebrating and throwing awesome parties, please do! After all, Memorial Day weekend has been seen as the start of the summer for many many years, and this is definitely a reason to celebrate. Although, more importantly, do something to celebrate all those people who have poured their heart, dedicated their time, and used their exceptional gift of bravery to serve and protect our country.
The freedom we have not only this weekend but every day of our lives is far from free. Without the brave souls who fight for our country every day, we would not have a weekend dedicated to celebrating them. So often the selfless act of leaving their lives behind in order to better our lives is overlooked and there is nothing we can do that can thank them enough for their service and sacrifice.
Please, go into this weekend with them in your thoughts. Please plan to celebrate all they do for us in one way or another, you can dedicate a hour or so to them for the life they have given you. With that being said, have the time of your life this weekend, party, go crazy, keep it classy-never trashy, show your pride, be safe, and celebrate all of those who deserve endless "Thank you"'s.