Memorial Day about remembering

Published 4:20 pm Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I’m normally not a big fan on the pictures folks post on Facebook that have something like a photo of a squirrel water skiing with some “clever” comment under it.

In fact, I have a three-strike policy when it comes to those things. I allow my friends two of those nonsensical posts, and on the third time I unsubscribe from their news feed. That’s how ridiculous I think most of those things are. But over the weekend, I saw one that I thought was quite profound.

It featured a photo of a woman laying face down at the foot of a headstone in Arlington National Cemetery. I can only assume she was grieving the loss of her husband. The caption read: “Memorial Day. In case you thought it was national BBQ day.”

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I saw another  young girl hugging a headstone in Arlington National Cemetery. Most likely it was the headstone of her father who gave his life serving our country.

Both served as sobering reminders about why we celebrate Memorial Day.

It’s meant to be a day to remember and honor those who sacrificed life and limb to ensure the freedom we have today.

It’s not about sales, beach trips and barbeques. Don’t get me wrong. There’s not a thing in the world wrong with enjoying a great deal, a trip to the Gulf coast or a tasty meal with family and friends, but we shouldn’t make the mistake of putting those things ahead of remembering our veterans.

That’s why I for one am thankful to the Lions Club for hosting the annual Memorial Day Celebration in Confederate Park. It provides our community with an opportunity to come together and celebrate, not a three-day weekend, but the men and women who served and are currently serving our country.

Memorial Day isn’t about glory. It’s not about how powerful our military is. It’s not even about the victories our soldiers have won. It’s about our obligation to remember the brave men and women who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a check made payable to the United States of America, for an amount of “up to and including my life.”