Memorial Day has always been an important day in my life...a day that was not ignored, or taken lightly or just a holiday. When I was very young I remember going to the parade in our town, then coming home quick to get cans of flowers loaded in the car and then heading out to attend the parades in the 2 neighboring towns. I always had older siblings in the parade as our school marching band always participated in all 3 parades, then when I was older I marched as well. After the parades and before going home, we would stop at the cemetery and leave flowers on the graves of my grandparents, great-grandparents and great-aunts whom all had passed on, some I never had the privilege to know. My grandma (my mom's mom) always went with us and I remember the look on her face when she would lovingly place flowers on her husband's grave, as well as on her parents and her sister. The love she felt for them all was evident in her eyes, her expression and the way she placed the flowers there. Now that my siblings and I older, married, not living in our parents' home we are not together to do this. Each Sunday the ones who are in the area gather together at our parents' home for dinner after church, a time of much food and conversation. Usually the day before Memorial Day, or a Sunday the next week or 2 after, we will go to the cemetery as this is a time that we can go together. This is a time that I still treasure and will always treasure. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring those who have served our country, but also a day that I remember loved ones who have passed on as well.
I am hoping to have some of the same family traditions with my own children and so come Monday morning, while we will not be attending all 3 parades (maybe when they're a little older!), we will be attending the one in our town. And while it will not be tomorrow, I hope to be able to go to the cemetery within the next few weeks and make a point to share the love that so many of those whom have passed on showed to me.
Patriotic decor is so popular this time of the year and I love the meaning behind it and the reminder of our freedom and the sacrifices that so many make every day.
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