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How To Properly Honor Memorial Day: No BBQ Required

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Before we get into the how-to’s and proper edict, let’s look at the definition of Memorial Day.

According to Google, yes, I googled that shit.

Me·mo·ri·al Day

/məˈmôrēəl ˌdā/

 noun

A day on which those who died in active military service are remembered is traditionally observed on May 30 but is now officially observed on the last Monday in May.

Now that we have the official definition let’s start with a good question. How do we properly honor Memorial Day?

(Photo by iStock)

Do I Say, “Happy Memorial Day?

Let’s start with this. If you’re not sure, ask yourself the following question. If you lost your Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, or child, and somebody walked up on the anniversary of their date and said, “Happy dead son, daughter, father, or brother day,” how would you feel?

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” – John F Kennedy. 

While that’s a bit dramatic, it leads to an excellent point. Memorial Day is our day to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for this country. Now, if, for some reason, you happen to make a mistake and say “Happy Memorial Day,” it’s not the end of the world, and I don’t want to give the impression that you’re doing some horrific faux pas.

The truth is we as a country should look at Memorial Day weekend as a reminder of why we have the freedoms in this country and pay tribute to those who have made incredible sacrifices to enjoy those freedoms. As you can see, I have included several quotes from some famous people in this article. I believe that if there are people out there who can say something I want to communicate better, then I should shine a light on them. So, I hope you like the choices I put because they put into words how I feel about Memorial Day.

Barbecues And Celebration

You’ve heard it said many times, “Memorial Day is not about barbecues.” However, celebrating life, celebrating accomplishments, and honoring those who have passed in service to this country is a beautiful and painful event.

To tell you how you “have” to celebrate or embrace Memorial Day is like telling you how you have to celebrate your birthday. No one has the right to do that. I’d like to bring attention to what Memorial Day was created for and embrace that essence.

How do you embrace Memorial Day? Does this day bring you sadness or happiness? Does it mean anything at all? This day is an excellent opportunity to remind ourselves that, as George Orwell said, “People Sleep Peaceably in Their Beds at Night Only Because Rough Men Stand Ready to Do Violence on Their Behalf.” Those people deserve to be shown the respect they earned. 

The United States of America is the finest nation on planet Earth. Yes, she has blemishes, as does every country. That said, I believe that the price for being such a fine nation comes at a cost. That cost comes from men and women who did what you and I didn’t do to keep this nation so great. Don’t you think they deserve a day filled with acknowledgment and respect?

I do! 

Memorial Day is a special day to honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
(Photo by iStock)

Celebration Of Life

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” – Winston Churchill 

What makes the celebration of Memorial Day so challenging is that many of us deal with the loss of life in different ways. Some of us have tears and are still grieving to this very day. While others use every opportunity possible to say the names of those they lost aloud and have a drink in their name to celebrate the life that they gave for this country. Again, I don’t believe there is a wrong way to celebrate Memorial Day. The keyword here is to celebrate and embrace such an important day on our calendar and honestly in our history as a country. 

“So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.” – Helen Keller. 

How to Honor Memorial Day Properly

I end this article with a quote that has always made my heart at peace when I think about our military and the job that they signed a contract with their lives. Let us all celebrate this day the way those we lost would want us to celebrate it. Celebrate it the way they would. 

May you and those you love have a wonderful, thought-provoking, and safe Memorial Day celebration. 

God bless the United States of America.

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” ~ General George S. Patton

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