Thoughts on Memorial Day
As I'm writing this it is the middle of Memorial Day weekend 2021. I had a great time Saturday with family, and that should continue throughout the rest of Sunday and Monday as well. I had been thinking about what to post for the holiday and I had two things come to mind. One was a quick Memorial Day Drive-In Speaker video that I made Friday morning, but before that something much more important - why we (at least in the U.S.) have Monday off!
Earlier this week I was driving near the town I grew up in and saw a fireworks stand open and selling fireworks. Usually, where I live they are only open July 4th and before New Years. Heck, when I was a kid they didn't even sell them at New Years! But this weekend? Come on. I feel like it's disrespectful and takes away from why we pause to honor those soldiers that gave the greatest sacrifice. Apparently there are some that disagree.
On my mind this weekend are memories from this photo below:
I took these images almost thirty years ago. In fact, it was Monday June 17th, 1991 when I was fortunate enough to visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France with a group of fellow high school classmates. I was 15 and it was my first time out of the country. We had a blast gallivanting through France! Around this past Christmastime I realized that my trip's 30 year anniversary would be coming up so I started scanning old photos, looking over trip brochures, notes that I had taken, and started to piece together each day of the trip and memories into digital documentation. Luckily, I have a good friend that lives in France that was there to help my with translations and recognize sites that I hadn't labeled on the back of photos! As I processed the memories of this trip a few events and sites really stood out - How excited I was to see Notre Dame, the amazement and beauty of Le Mont St. Michel, how impressive the Bayeux Tapestry was, and all of those crosses! CROSSES! I still am awestruck at all of those white marble crosses and stars of Davids! Over 9,000 at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. It was very powerful image to a kid 30 years ago and it even means more to me today.
So here I am at 5am just a few weeks shy of a thirty year mark of seeing this battlefield and cemetery, exactly one week before the 77th anniversary of D-Day, and in the middle of Memorial Day weekend. So this weekend please remember those ALL the brave American soldiers that didn't get to come home to see their Mom's and Dad's and siblings again. Remember those that fell and left widows at home and children without a Daddy. We truly owe so much to them. So while you are swimming, grilling, going to a car show, or the drive-in this long weekend please take the time to remember them and how fortunate we are because of their sacrifice. Thank you.