Years ago, I lived across the street from a cemetery, and every Memorial Day they would fill the front lawns with flags. It was as spectacular sight, and it was peaceful to walk around and in them and to see the decorated graves. I never felt more patriotic and proud of my country than when I was surrounded by all those stars and stripes.
For most of us, we think of hot dogs, chips, and barbeques on Memorial Day. It’s the start of the summer season and all the activities and vacations we have planned. It was that way for me for a long time. That was before I personally knew men who served our country, before my dad committed suicide, and before I visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. They were humbling experiences. Memorial Day still means those summery things to me, but now it’s also a day to stop and remember those who made all those summer activities possible.
This Memorial Day as you pack up for a day at the beach or wherever you’re going, take a moment to thank all those who gave up their lives for our freedom. Also take a moment to bless their families and friends.
And of course, remember all those who died by suicide and their survivors. This is a great day for all of us grieving a loss to pull together and offer our support.