Monday, May 30, 2016
A Quiet Day to Remember
Though it might be difficult to tell the somber basis of this weekend's holiday—at least, judging from the rocking parties keeping the neighborhood awake well past midnight—today is set aside, in the United States, as a commemoration of those who died in service to their country.
I don't often write about this holiday, as neither my family nor my husband's family have had any close relatives who, while serving in the military, died during a war. We can recount a few members of our family trees who, long ago, had died in battle overseas or during the Civil War here at home, but that is not quite the same as bearing the pain of loss of a loved one in our immediate generations.
For those of you who have suffered such loss, words of gratitude will never replace the loved one lost, of course. But we need to share those expressions of gratefulness, nonetheless. Not just now—the day in which national cemeteries are ceremonially draped in red, white and blue—but with every opportunity. That service of protection is ongoing—a 24/7 shield of service that continues whether we see it or not. Though it may be out of sight, we can't let it become out of mind.
Whether your day be filled with parades, laying flowers at graveside, or other commemorations—or simply gathering with friends to relax—may the day be a reminder of the gratitude we owe on behalf of those who have made such overwhelming sacrifices on our behalf.
Above: Frederick Childe Hassam's 1917 oil on canvas, "The Avenue in the Rain," represents a flag-bedecked Fifth Avenue in New York City; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.