Off we go to the lake for a long holiday weekend. It saddens me a bit that most people seem to celebrate being off work rather than the intention of the holiday.
I am guilty. Now that I am older, I am more aware of the purpose - "Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces" (Wikipedia). There is little hype - a holiday isn't a holiday until Wal-Mart devotes an entire aisle to celebrate. No gifts being given - candy filled hearts passed out.
Now that I'm older, I see that the gift has already been received by all Americans. For years, men and women have given their lives so that we can BE Americans. Few of us realize what it means to be an American. We take for granted the day-to-day liberties we are allowed, instead choosing to focus on those we don't.
So, this weekend, I think I will spend a few minutes here and there and be glad that I am not having beans rationed out to me, being forced to worship something I don't want to, be thankful for the clean water I am drinking, be happy that I am snuggling my granddaughter since noone had the option of saying "no girls". There are a million things that I take for granted and this weekend I will reflect on them, if only for a moment. And when I do, I will remember that many people gave me a gift - soldiers gave their lives, parents gave their children, children gave their parents, etc.
Happy Memorial Day weekend!