Good morning and Happy Monday! I hope you’re enjoying your day as once again, this post comes to you on a holiday. Today is Memorial Day here in the U.S. As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s usually thought of as the de facto start of summer, marked with bar-b-ques, parades and all manner of outdoor activities. (At least if you live in a place that is relatively warm on this day. Here in the northeast, it’s 50, feels like 46, with a UV index of 1… and raining.)
Of course, we never want to lose sight of the real reason for the day – remembering those that have fallen in service to our country. I read something this morning reminding me that it is the fallen part of that phrase that is most important today and what distinguishes this day from Veteran’s Day in November. Memorial Day began as Decoration Day, so called because Americans from both the North and the South took the time to decorate the graves of those who had died during the Civil War.
The article, a transcript of conversation heard on NPR’s “All Things Considered”, also suggested that today, “Thank you for your service” is not an entirely appropriate thing to say to someone who has served his or her country.
On Memorial Day, the veteran you’re talking to may be going through a bit of melancholy remembering people who died over the years,” says Navy veteran Luke Visconti, who also co-founded the website DiversityInc…
He goes on to suggest that something like “I hope you’re having a meaningful day”, would be better.
As you prepare to enjoy whatever it is that you have planned for the day (we’re having a “Cook-In”), I hope you’ll pause once more* to remember the fallen, those who gave all they had, for us. And to those that have served and those that love them, I hope you have a meaningful day.
*The National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for a duration of one minute. The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday. The Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events; rather, it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who died in service to the United States.