While Memorial Day remembrances originally started as Decoration Day to honor those who fought and/or died in the Civil War in 1971 it became Memorial Day by federal decree. Today, for many, Memorial Day weekend offers us the chance to grill hamburgers, drink cool beverages and celebrate the “official” beginning of summer despite the summer solstice not happening for another 25 days, more or less. And to be sure, I have fired up a few grills over Memorial Day weekend and will continue to do so.

Frederick P Lengquist
Deceased at 21. WWII

Still, I’d like to pause for a moment and remember. I’d like to remember all those who have lost their lives for our country. I’d like to thank all those that have served so that I can be free. And in my world, I expand today’s remembrance to my mother and to Emma and to all those that have moved on ahead of me. Today I dedicate to their memories. Today I celebrate their lives. Yes, celebrate. Today isn’t about sadness or loss. Today is thankfulness and smiles.

Ecclesiastics says to everything there is a season. The older I get, the more I know this to be true. The pain we feel at loss is real and that pain is always there, hiding behind a corner. Healing is also real. The realization that we cannot change the world or the way it works and so we begin to cling to the hope and the warm feelings the ones who left gave to us.

My mom gave me perseverance and care. Emma gave me love and patience. Every soldier that has served, fought and/or died for the United States has given me my basic freedoms. God gives me perspective and grants me discernment.

Yes, today I will take time to observe Memorial Day and be thankful for so much. And I hope you do, too.

Emma and Mom