Yesterday, amid a dozen eggs and book of postage stamps, there lied a red poppy.
I am now officially ready for the Memorial Day weekend to commence.
All week I’ve counted down the days–the hours, the minutes–to three glorious days of doing as you please; and by ‘doing as you please’ I mean yard work and maybe eating a hot dog or two.
If you happen to reside outside of the U.S., Memorial Day is a pretty big deal. For most of us, it’s the first official holiday since New Year’s Day. We’ve waited five long, arduous months for an extra day in which to frolic — to hang out with family and friends; to gather around camp fires and BBQ pits; to visit parks and head out on road trips.
Memorial day ushers in the freedom of summer–even as it reminds us of those who gave their lives for freedom.
In that, there will be services and parades; banners will be waved and wreaths hung on tombstones.
On Monday morning, the flag will be lowered to half-staff–a solemn reminder of the more than one million men and women who have sacrificed their lives in service to our country. But you see, the flag will only remain in such a state until noon. At noon, it will be raised to full-staff–a poignant reminder that even as we remember, we go on living.
So be you here or there, celebrating Memorial Day or no, I hope you live in a land that is free–and I hope you take the time this weekend to remember those who have fought to keep it that way.
Then, I hope you’ll get out there and live well–not as a sign of indifference or forgetfulness, but as an act of gratitude to the men and women who fought, so we might not have to . . . who looked fear in the eye, so we might know peace . . . who gave their lives, so we might have the freedom to go on living. After all, it is a life well lived that serves the greatest testament of all; it is a living, breathing sign that the most precious of gifts was not given in vain.
A good, safe weekend to you, my friends!