Ah, Memorial Day in America. There are a few things that can be counted on every year.
- It’s going to rain.
- Some folks are going to cook out, drink too much, and go to parades anyway.
- Some people are going to gripe that others aren’t showing the proper respect for the holiday.
- Lots of people aren’t going to show the proper respect for the holiday.
- Tomorrow, we all go back to work and school, and life will go on.
It’s a solemn day, especially as I look around at the kids graduating with my daughter next week and realize just how many of them are going into the military in the weeks after that.
It’s a day to look at my family and think of just how many of my loved ones have served over the years.. It’s a day to look at my Uncle Don’s flag in its display case and wonder, for the thousandth time, what it would have been like to know my father’s twin brother.
It’s a day to think about my Uncle Butch and remember his smart-ass grin. To think about his kids who barely remember him, and the grandchildren – and great-grandchildren!- who never had the chance to meet him.
I think it’s safe to say that Uncle Butch would have been as proud of them as they are of him for his service. They drive out here every year to honor him.
It’s a day to look at the flag and see it as more than just a bunch of stripes and a handful of stars.
It’s a day for memories, but it’s not a day for sadness. It’s a day when kids dodge into the streets to grab candy thrown by beauty queens perched on floats, while high school marching bands play and firetrucks creep past with their sirens wailing.
There is some silliness going on, too.
Along with some general grumpiness.
And overall? It’s a day for family and friends, and fun.
Life will indeed go on tomorrow, when we go back to work and school. But maybe, just maybe, we’ll go back with a little bit of something else. Maybe a hint of patriotism? Or at the very least, a little bit of understanding, a sense of appreciation for all of the men and women we are honoring on this day.
Happy Memorial Day, America!