In Canada, we don't have Memorial Day. We have Remembrance Day. A Holiday the Country takes very seriously. November 11th. Its cold, most times its rainy and its somber. The way the day should be. We don't have a lot of "Remembrance Day" Sales. Only the Major cities will stay open, but for the most part people have the day off. We go to the Cenotaph to honor those who had fallen in the wars we were involved in.We lay our wreaths,bow our heads and listen to bugle play. We take the time to honor those who never came back. This our day of mourning for our War Dead.
Since living in the United States, Memorial Day always baffled me. Here was a day that was supposed to be about the War Dead of this Country. Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice. And yet I get bombarded with flyers for Memorial Day Sales both in the mail and on the TV. Has Memorial Day turned commercial? Its like this country has forgotten what this day is about. I know this is the weekend that kick starts the BBQ parties, pools open and the summer activities start up. But it makes me wonder just how many of us will take pause and remember why we have this weekend.
To most military families, we get it. Why? Its our way of life. Our loved ones go off to war, some come home and some don't. War Never Changes. We know just what sacrifices our service men and women have made for this country. When my Husband was in Afghanistan, this was the year that my eldest finally realized what Memorial Day was about. He had a hard time with it. He knew his Father was off to a place where there was fighting going on. His response was this.
" If Daddy dies in a war that we are fighting in, I honor him on this Weekend? We should honor him everyday."
He was 7 at the time. It hurt my heart a little to hear that come out of the mouth of someone so young. But it made me proud to think, he gets it.
I know people will say,"Well we have Veteran's Day for remembering those who have fallen" Here is the thing, shouldn't those who made a decision to sign their life over to their country deserve more than two days a year? People may not agree with where the military gets sent to or the policies. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty of things, when something happens in this country, Terrorism or a Natural Disaster, the military are normally the ones called in to help. Whether it be the National Guard or Service men and women from a base. Those people enlisted. Those people, if need to will go to war for this country. Some will return and some won't.
I guess what I am trying to say is, between the BBQ parties, pool openings and the Memorial Day Sales, take the time to put this Country's War Dead in your thoughts. Reflect on why you have the freedom to live your life.
If you want to do something this weekend that shows you care, visit a War Cemetery or a local Cenotaph. Read up on our War history. Educate yourself. Or help a Veteran out. Say thanks. Some times its the little things that go a long way.