It begins by sharing. “Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.”[1] It then goes on to say that the holiday was originally celebrated “as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as at a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.”  Eventually Union and Confederate holiday traditions would merge, and Memorial Day would honor all Americans who died in the military service.  For many it marks the beginning of summer.

If you did not already figure it out by now, I’m stopping by Wikipedia this morning to look to see if I can learn a bit more about the origin of the holiday we celebrate honoring those who died in the name of freedom.

Many of my friends, and one in particular, share about the war stories that they listen to when they get together with their families.  My childhood was not filled with these such stories.  I have no aunts or uncles, and never knew either of my biological grandfathers.  In fact, it was not until I was ten that I would meet my biological mother for the first time [other than when I was born, as I have a feeling I was introduced to her briefly then] and it was at the time that my biological grandfather died.  I still remember the flag on his casket and how they folded it up and handed it to my grandmother who in turn gave it to my brother.

I am always so amazed and filled with gratitude and admiration for those who fight freely.  What inspired them to join the service in a time when there is no draft?  How difficult is it to be far away from your family and how hard it is to adapt to civilian life once they come home? I’ll never know.

I am grateful and wish to thank all those who have fought, yesterday and today.  Thank you so much.