Tomorrow is more than just a day off, but also a day of showing gratitude for the freedom to do whatever we want to do on that day off–whether it’s hitting the lake, hitting the mall for sales, sleeping in, or just spending time with whomever you wanted. Memorial Day is about remembering those who gave their lives for the United States of America and for our freedom.
Now I’m not going to go into crazy patriot mode or start preaching the history of our country. I just want to point out that we need to be thankful for our veterans and those currently serving everyday, not just on Memorial Day or Veterans’ Day. These days aren’t meant to be just an extra day off from work (if you’re lucky to have it off), but to celebrate our country.
I’m extremely thankful for those in my life that have served, or are currently serving, in the U.S. armed forces. My grandfather was an engineer in the Air Force after WW2. My fiance served in the Air Force during and after 911. One of my best friends served in the Marines after high school during and after 911. And another friend served in the Army for many years before and after 911.
I wish our country honored the homecoming of our veterans like we used to. I remember seeing movies of ticker tape parades when our men and women returned home after combat. Nowadays, they come home to yellow ribbons and smaller gatherings of family and close friends–no big celebrations or keys to the city. It’s like it’s old hat. But is it really old hat for someone to completely alter their lives (and some times their family’s lives) to serve a country of millions? It never is.
There are many reasons why someone would sign up for the military: Maybe they’re not the college-type and need a direction in life after high school; maybe they can’t afford college until after using a big benefit of military service (i.e., the GI Bill); maybe they’re extremely proud of their country and want to fight to protect it; etc. The possibilities are endless, but no matter the reason, we know that they give at least five years of their lives for service. And for that, we should be eternally grateful.
I know I’m grateful for my veteran. Are you?