Please Remember this Memorial Day…

As every Memorial Day approaches a small ripple of discontent winds its way through the military community.


Image Source Flickr

One quick glance at the evening news reminds us just how fortunate we are to live in a country where we are safe and free.

But that freedom comes at a price, often the ultimate price.

A Funeral Flag, American Veteran Soldier, The Red, White, and Blue, Stars and Stripes, Patriotic, Memorial Day 2009, Cemetery

Image Source Flickr

Each and every day, men, women, and their children are paying for that freedom. They sacrifice more than most people realize – time deployed overseas, at sea, stationed far from home, managing without their spouse, hoping and praying their mother or father will come home safely…

As both a Navy veteran and spouse, it’s hard not to feel the sting as Americans spend more time thinking about who to invite and what side dishes to serve at their annual Memorial Day picnic than on how to honor the men and women to whom the day is dedicated.  And I know that I’m not alone.

It’s easy to feel like the sacrifices these men and women make are taken for granted, the sacrifices my family makes.

I want you to go and spend the holiday with your family and friends; I really do. I want you to grill hamburgers and go to the beach and enjoy your families and the nice weather.

After all, that is truly why we all sacrifice what we do. We sacrifice so that you don’t have to.

mnemonic reflection

Image Source Flickr

But please, please this Memorial Day don’t forget. Don’t forget the men, women and children who sacrifice each and every day, those who have been wounded along the way, and especially those who have fallen in the line of duty and the families they left behind.

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  1. 1

    Thank you Jen for bringing it back to the true meaning of the day!! Well written and said!! Hope you and your family have a loving Memorial Day.

  2. 2

    Beautiful, Jen, absolutely beautiful tribute. Have a wonderful Memorial day! xoxo

  3. 3

    Great post Jen! The photos were very nice too. I think it’s great to always remember what this day is about.

  4. 4

    Excellent post. The flag-covered coffins that hold fathers, sisters, brothers, mothers are heart-breaking. The sacrifices are immense. Even when dad, sister, brother, mother comes home, the times apart are filled with anxiety while they are gone. It’s a hard life and we owe these people everything.

  5. 6

    You said it well, Jen! Thanks for remembering what today is truly about. Hope you have a great Memorial Day!

  6. 7

    You spelled out perfectly, what this day is all about. The sacrifices that men and women, and their families have made through the generations are huge, and we must not forget those sacrifices, and honor the people who made them. Have a great Memorial Day with your family, and thank you for your sacrifices.

  7. 9

    You did say it well . . . a lot of us do need reminding of the real reason is for these festivities we enjoy.

  8. 10

    This is so well-said. It frustrates me too that we get caught up in long weekends and festivities and forget their true purpose.

  9. 11

    I love your words, they are so very true. My father-in-law and dad were both veterans, and my son’s friend died in Afghanistan. I am truly grateful for their service and your families as well.

  10. 13

    Jen…..thank you for this solemn reminder. It seems as with most ‘holidays’…we focus on the food and fun. But especially in this day….our focus should be first and foremost on giving thanks to those who protect and preserve our freedom. I am sorry for the sacrifices your family has had to make….and I am truly grateful.

  11. 15

    What a great tribute for those who have served and are still serving!

  12. 16

    Jen – This is such a lovely post! You’ve essayed how you feel so wonderfully! xx

  13. 17

    Thanks for the post. It is lovely to have a long weekend but the true meaning of the day is exactly what you stated. We are so lucky and blessed to live in a country with such freedoms. It is only possible with those that serve this country. Happy Memorial Day! And Thank YOU!

  14. 19

    Great post, Jen. These days, I admit that I don’t take enough time out to fully appreciate the meaning of Memorial Day. When he was alive, my dad, who was French, would always take us to any parades and ceremony’s (if they were open to the public). He had a soft spot for anyone in uniform, because he remembered what a relief it was when the U.S. liberated his home, which had been under German occupation during WW II. One of the airmen gave him his first taste of peanut butter! :)

    So to you and all other military families, Thank you. XO

  15. 21

    Great post! :) I share a similar story with Valerie. My father was so grateful to the American soldiers that liberated Holland that he made it his mission to move his entire family here.

  16. 22

    Well said, Jen. It’s certainly important to always remember that the freedoms and securities we enjoy are in no way free – real people fought (and fight) real battles to protect our way of life. And celebrating our freedoms each Memorial Day is perhaps the best way to commemorate those who gave their lives throughout history…

  17. 23

    great post Jen!

  18. 24

    My favorite way to celebrate Memorial Day is to go to the local cemetery. I take my kids and we look at the graves with the flags. It gives them a little more to think about than what to put on their hot dog.

  19. 25

    Very heartfelt post! And a very important reminder of what’s really important on this day!

  20. 26

    Beautifully, perfectly, wonderfully said…and thank YOU for YOUR service!

  21. 28

    Well said, Jen, and thank you!

  22. 29

    Very very well said. Thanks so much for all you’ve done!

  23. 31

    Beautiful post, Jen. I think sometimes the true meaning of the holiday gets overlooked with the focus instead on BBQs, ushering in summer, the Indy 500. Thanks for sharing. co

  24. 32

    Beautiful writing Jen. Sorry I came here late but I’m really glad that I read your post. :-)

  25. 34
    Debra Kapellakis says:

    God Bless all military men and women, AMEN!

  26. 35

    Jen, what an absolutely lovely post. And you’re correct–we can’t forget those who sacrifice so much for us.

  27. 36

    Beautiful post Jen and gorgeous photos.

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