Poet Maya Angelou wrote, “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
Here in the United States, Memorial Day weekend serves as the traditional kick off for summertime and everything good that comes to mind about the season . . .
. . . families and friends gathering for backyard barbecues, and the promise of seeing children running through green grass in their bare feet, lighting sparklers and catching fireflies.
But for many, Memorial Day celebrations will also include a parade and, perhaps, a somber grave site ceremony because, at its heart, Memorial Day is a day set apart for remembering and honoring.
Both of my parents served during World War II—my father in the Navy and my mother as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps.
My late partner, Christine, served during the Vietnam era, also as a Lieutenant, in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps.
I’m grateful for the service of each of these people in my life and, especially, for the healing care tendered by both my mother and Chris to those exposed to the wounds and trauma of combat.
Many veterans hold their memories close to the heart and have no desire to re-live painful experiences. Others tell amazing stories of camaraderie and friendships forged through hardship, and of witnessing events that most of us know of only through history books.
I hope you’ll take some time this weekend to reflect and remember, and to honor those who sacrificed and gave of themselves for others. If you have friends or family members who have served, or are serving now, maybe you could ask them to share a story or two.
Whatever your plans for the weekend, as you gather in your backyard or around pools and picnic tables, I hope your celebration is sweet. As summer kicks off, I’m looking forward to another season of creating memories with family and friends that will last a lifetime.
And I’m grateful for the chance to remember the heroes and she-roes in my life.
Do you have a family member or friend for whom you’d like to offer a Memorial Day tribute? Please share it with me in the comments below.