Opinion Piece: Enjoy Memorial Day as a celebration of life and freedom.
I am torn by the constant reminder, in the news and on the internet, that Memorial Day is not about hot dogs and picnics, but, only to remember the fallen Soldiers in our history.
Yes. There are plenty of US Citizens, who do not live near a military base, who do not know a military Veteran, and who are not familiar with all that goes into being in the military. They are going about their weekend in blissful happiness that they are able to take a long weekend and spend some time with the family. That is all they know. The main things they are looking forward to is time off and spending time with the family. They might attend the local parade, and hang up their American flag, and eat, drink, and be merry during the whole weekend.
Is that really so bad?
As a career Soldier, it honestly makes me very happy there are families in small town America who can go about their lives and never know the pain, suffering, and lose that Soldiers feel every day. I didn’t join the military so that I can tell those families what to do. I joined the military so they could do what they wanted to, at any time, without fear of oppression and war in their own backyard.
In my mind, I see Memorial day as a Celebration of Life for Soldiers who have gone before us. We remember their lives and their sacrifice by not sitting around crying all weekend, or in solemn prayer all weekend, but in celebration for what they did on the battlefield, and how they served their country very well.
Throughout history, armies did not remember their lost brothers (and now sisters), by spending their entire mourning time in tears and sorrow. They spent the appropriate time in sorrow, but, after the tears, they partied and told grand stories about their fallen comrades. The more mead or wine which was poured, the bigger the stories became. They danced, they ate, they drank, and they made love, while being thankful for the freedom they had due to the Soldiers who died in their place.
This Memorial Day weekend, let’s not condemn those who are spending time with their families, who are fishing with their children, who are drinking, eating, and seem like they don’t have a care in the world. Let’s be happy that, we, as Soldiers, and the ones who went before us, are able to provide the freedom for those people to have a happy weekend. We shoulder the pain, suffering, and sacrifice time with our own families, so they don’t have to. The fallen Soldiers (and their families) have shouldered the ultimate sacrifice, so those families could smile, love, and be together in a free nation, without fear of condemnation of others.
So, go out and have a huge Celebration of Life for the lost Soldiers from our past, and enjoy the freedoms they gave to the American people. While you are having a beer, have one for them too, but, don’t condemn those who are loving, living, and laughing in the free nation those Soldiers stood, and fell, for.
It makes my heart happy to see families together in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
If you wish to post the name of a Veteran you have lost, I will make a photo for them and post it on my blog.