Growing up Memorial Day was always a long weekend were we had picnics and put flowers on all the graves of our loved ones. I never thought much about it and as I grew up I learned many cultures have customs which include a yearly remembrance of loved ones who have passed on, which is what I understood Memorial Day to be.
It isn’t about remembering veterans, now dead, who once served in the armed forces.
Originally Memorial Day, which was at first called Decoration Day, was a day to remember those who had died in war. Eventually it was declared as a national holiday then Congress made it the last Monday in May.
Over time people have used Memorial Day to remember all their dead, which I have no problem with. As I said, many cultures have customs to remember their deceased, but don’t confuse remembering those who died in war with honoring all who served who are now dead.
During this month of May we had another holiday which very few people even mentioned. If you want to honor those who are now serving our country, remember Armed Forces Day. Officially it’s celebrated on the third Saturday in May each year.
To remember those like my husband, father, great uncle, brother-in-law, father-in-law and so many more who have served in the military at some time in their lives, thank them for their service and decorate their graves on Veteran’s Day, which is celebrated on November 11th of each year.
I’m proud of the men and women in my family who have served. Let’s all remember their days.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.