Everyone knows Memorial Day Weekend is the kick off to summer. The shore comes alive, the festivals start and the partying goes on for months. Starting the summer with being off on Monday is the most appropriate way to begin the season. But why do we have this Monday Off?
Over the weekend you’ll see posts of BBQ’s, parties, beaches and the never ending #MWD hashtag, but it has become quite evident over the years that people have forgotten what this weekend is truly representing.
There are two gentlemen who’s answers really hit home when I began my search of Memorial Day’s true meaning, and I needed to share their responses with the world…
In case you have forgotten – because we all have- this is what Memorial Day is actually about, according to those who understand it most.
“I think as a service member, Memorial Day is a little different. To a lot of civilians, the people that have died serving the country are kind of faceless, or nameless. And no that’s not a bad thing at all, but being in the military most of us know people on a personal level that didn’t come home. We know their families and wives, so for us Memorial Day kind of has an actual face if that makes sense. I know there are a lot of people that like to post on Facebook about, “while you’re out getting drunk remember what this day is really for”, sounding all grim and stuff, but I think people should remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice however they want. If you go to a barbecue this weekend have a beer and think about them, or have a hotdog and think about them. That’s what they’d be doing if they were here.”
-SSG Justin Meyers, United States Army
“When we drink this weekend; we do not drink because it was a 3 day weekend or because there was an amazing party or a cheap cover at a bar or a club. We drink to remember, and we drink to forget. We drink to remember the lives our comrades have led, we drink to remember shared trials and tribulations. We drink to honor the memories that are indelibly seared into our minds. We drink to forget the pain that is associated with their passing from this realm to the next. We drink to forget the sight of their mothers, with tears dripping from their eyes, as they watch their little boy carried down the aisle by pallbearers who served side by side with him in life. We drink to show respect to brothers who risked everything to honor a promise to protect the warrior at his flank. We drink to celebrate the amazingly bright lives they lead, which like a match flared with brilliance, only to be cut short far too early. We drink, because it dulls the pain and makes everything make sense on this day, if only for a couple hours. We drink to soothe our invisible scars while people around us unwittingly congratulate our service on this day.
That’s not what Memorial Day is for. Don’t give us thanks, but instead give thought to our honored dead. How many of you who did not lose someone to this war have actually gone down to Arlington National Cemetery? How many have born witness to the way The Fallen’s weeping mothers flinch with every shot from a Three volley salute? How many of you visited the Tomb of the Unknowns and watched the 3rd Infantry Regiment serve as Sentinels over the remains of our unknown brothers-in-arms. How many of you have walked upon the solemn and sacred ground where our brothers and sisters from this war and warrior’s of previous generations lay in eternal slumber? We have never asked for much, just a little recognition and enough land to bury our dead. We would not want you, the innocent we protect, to feel the burdens that we carry, we have carried this burden for over 220 Years, and we will for 220 more. So have your fun and enjoy your summer, I mean this truly, from the bottom of my heart with sincerity. All I ask is that you take a moment to think of my fallen brothers and sisters.”
-SPC Andrew Kim B Co. 1-114 IN, United States Army.
God Bless Our Soldiers & God Bless America.
This Article Is Dedicated to 1LT Omar Vazquez KIA 22APR2011 Operation New Dawn,
The Millions of Lives Lost Protecting Our Freedom Over the Past 240 Years.
We Salute You.