Today is Memorial Day (or Decoration Day). I know that my millions of fans have been waiting with baited breath for my annual rant against the system. And today is the day – you can let your breath out and breathe again.
If you go to this link, you can read more about the history of Decoration Day. It was started after the Civil War, in 1868. It was in 1971 that our government decided that the people needed a 3-day weekend every year!
I can remember Memorial Day so well. It was a time of peace, quiet, lilacs and honoring “our glorious dead.” Children at school had a day or 2 left before the end of school. It was hot and muggy, mostly, and everyone was hanging out the windows, smelling the lilacs and wishing for a cool breeze. May 30th was a time to celebrate not having to go to school. There was the visiting of the graveyard. Not only fallen soldiers, but also anyone who had departed the family was honored. Flags were for the soldiers; flowers were for everyone. Someone would have a parade or speeches and then there would be a picnic.
Most stores closed for the day to honor the day and allow the workers to spend time with their families. It was an HONORABLE day!
The next day was back to normal, but we knew that summer had started. Swimming pools opened on June 1st, school was out and a blissful summer vacation was ahead.
No one seems to look forward to the 4th Monday of May as much as we used to look forward to Memorial Day on May 30th. We always knew when it was .. there was no looking at the calendar and counting to figure out when the celebration was. There were no sales advertisements blaring on the TV, no stores open from daylight to dark to lure customers in to spend, spend, spend.
Very few people, in the general gist of things, even think about what Memorial Day stands for. Very few people, on the whole, even take time out of their day to attend some kind of celebration (and I will admit, there ARE celebrations) or visit a cemetery to take flowers to a loved one.
I will admit that I don’t attend celebrations any more; I have usually been too far away from any to attend. And my loved ones are buried hither and thither around the country so there is really no grave to visit. But I DO stop and think of the day and think of my loved ones and think of the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in order for us to celebrate (or not) any way and any time we please.
I just wish we could go back to the “good ol’ days” and celebrate like we used to.
Happy, blessed Memorial Day!