Memorial Day. School is finally out. We feel like we can finally relax and breathe a little. The first glorious day of summer vacation when we can just sleep in. It’s a day that is so lazy and laid back that our little backyard party really has no set schedule. The kids get to play until dark-thirty and come to the house good and exhausted on their dirty little feet. There really is nothing better than that first day of summer vacation.
At the end of the day, we reflect on how it was a good day, and we sigh and smile…satisfied.
Yet there is another family–miles away–who celebrates, yes, but with a different focus. This family is very aware of what Memorial Day is all about because it is about their son and all the others who have given all for our freedoms. Maybe they enjoy a relaxing day, too, with a bbq to end the day, but they really know what this day means. And remember. I’m sure they stand proud of the sacrifices of their son/daughter, or husband/wife, or father/mother, but they also feel the pain of what those sacrifices cost them.
At the end of the day, I’m sure they reflect, remember their loved one, and sigh…lonely.
Where do we fall?
I’ve been guilty of the first scenario, never really knowing what Memorial Day was all about. When I was a kid, we were still in school in May, so we got the day off. I don’t remember my parents actively teaching us about this day to remember. That has to change! I don’t want my kids going through life not knowing what Memorial Day is all about.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. (Memorial Day)
What can we do this Memorial Day?
My biggest push to get with the program and even begin to understand is this post by my dear friend Shan, The How-to Guru. Shan shares her heart in this blog post. She shares about a soldier who was friends with her son who just recently gave his life in service to our country. Graciously, she points us to ways we can help, showing us how our support is most important.
It’s simple, really, the things we can do to help, to remember. I think it boils down to being compassionate and being brave enough to step out of our comfort zones. When I think about it, that’s no different from anything else in life worth doing. We can’t do life in our comfort zone. These soldiers, these men and women, moms and dads, sons and daughters, were brave and left comfort–regularly. But they stepped out, were uncomfortable, and gave all.
What are we willing to give? How uncomfortable are we willing to be? I think it starts with prayer. Prayer for families who experience Memorial Day up-close and personal. We can pray for peace and strength to navigate the days ahead. In addition, we should pray for our own hearts to be changed, be softened so that we are willing to be uncomfortable and to reach out to these families.
So, what are you going to do? The thing I know we have to do is teach the younger generation. Is there anything else we can do?
Shan gives some great ideas of things we can do to help, to be involved, and to remember.