Memorial Day

I’m home recovering today.  I had another wild weekend.  I am appreciating a day to just hang out at home.  Buck was here this morning but has since headed home with a truck full of plants he got from my garden.


I know someone will ask…the quilt is our design.  You can read more about it HERE.

Now it’s time for me to catch up here on the blog.  I’m behind again.  It seems anything out of my ordinary routine puts me behind so I should be used to it by now…right??

I hope you’ve had a chance to visit family or friends over the weekend but also I hope you’ve taken time to remember what this day truly is.

Something showed up in my Facebook feed about Memorial Day.

Armed Forces Day vs. Memorial Day vs. Veterans Day | Memorial day quotes, Memorial  day, Veterans day
I’ve also seen many on Facebook write Happy Memorial Day.  If we are taking the day for what it truly is, “Happy Memorial Day” would be a wildly inappropriate comment.  There is nothing happy about a serviceman losing their life in service to their country.

So what do we say?  …I don’t know.  I just know Happy Memorial Day seems wrong.

So many of us, me included have taken Memorial Day Weekend to be a kick-off to summer.  A time to renew with family and friends…a time to celebrate graduations and weddings.  Many of us take time to visit the cemetery of our own loved ones.  That’s all good but I do hope we can at least stop and take a moment to remember what the day is truly set aside for.

I like to take in our local Memorial Day service and often do.  Today I didn’t.  First off I didn’t know what time it was being held.  I thought probably 10 am but didn’t know.  Then I was outside finishing some things up with Buck at 9:30 and telling him goodbye when we heard guns firing as they typically do at the service.  I figured I had missed it.

Buck left.  I went into the house.  It was about 9:45 when I looked out my back window and saw the servicemen on the main bridge in town in formation.  Then I was sure I had missed it for sure.  I decided to stand there, watch the men fire their weapons, and observe a moment of silence.  It was the best I could do.  I was too late.

Then at 9:50, I heard the scanner and the fire department were going to the service.  What??  It was being held at 10 am!  I was so confused.  By then it was too late to get there.  Darn. I did want to go.

I feel good that I did take a moment.  It’s the least I could do.  The ultimate sacrifice for country is worth taking time to honor.

I want to thank the families who live with the loss of a loved one who served.  I say this time and time again.  It is not just the soldier who serves.  It is the entire family.  It’s the family who worries.  It’s the family lending the support.  It’s the family that changes their lives.  It’s the family who is left to mourn.

So…no “happy” Memorial Day wishes from me…I do wish you a Peaceful Memorial Day.  May peace spread across our world and no more people have to die through war.

20 thoughts on “Memorial Day

  1. June

    Thank you Jo. My husband served 16 yrs in the Navy. Coming in at the tail end of VNam. My family came to America in 1949. My dad (from Saint Lunaire) ( my mom from Lorraine) rejected by the French after getting wounded. Saved by his cousin ( who would later be taken to Auschwitz) My dad was saved by the US Army that let him join up with them to continue on during WW2. It is quite humbling and shocking to see all the gravestone crosses in France- thousands of them. I have been to D-Day beaches- and you cannot forget the sacrifices made by so many. God Bless Those who gave the ultimate – their life so we could be free. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Stearns Carol

      Quite a story June. Thank you for sharing. We were supposed to go on a Normandy trip last may but covid took over and company went bankrupt. Got our money back but we were very disappointed.

      Reply
  2. Cindy F

    Thank you for your post. I keep seeing the word happy and I too find it inappropriate and weird. My father and his brothers and my husband have served in the military and we’re fortunate to not have lives lost.

    Reply
  3. Glapha Cox

    People around here take Memorial Day as a day to remember everyone who has died. But Google says that was not the original intent.

    Reply
  4. Judith Fairchild

    You are so right about the Happy Meorial Day thing. I read this morning and I didn’t know how to reply without getting nasty. What’s to be happy about all those .outlying young people who didn’t get to come home and deR Lord have mercy the families who lost so many of their boys. I spent the day remembering and being thankful for the price paid for our freedom through every conflict we’ve had..

    Reply
  5. Ginny Clyne

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I dislike that the holidays 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving day,
    Veteran Day but most of all Memorial Day seem to be just about SALES, and have lost true meaning of why that holiday is to be honored. Let us all say a pray for all the Service men and women who have paid the ultimate price so we can be free.

    Reply
  6. Brenda

    I so agree but ALWAYS wonder at the end of the day how many times I thoughtlessly wished someone a “happy” memorial day. We have had family in every war since Revolutionary war and suffered no loss of life. Injury YES but no loss of life.

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      I have done it as well Brenda. I think we all have. I think we all need to learn to forgive ourselves and do better.

      Reply
  7. Kate

    I guess I have used “happy” not knowing what else to use. It is a time to remember the oh so many who gave their lives for my freedom and I am so thankful. Our little village (not a city) had its parade again this year (missed last year – COVID) and it was well attended, so it was good to have some form of remembrance.

    Reply
  8. DebMac

    “Happy” Memorial Day does seem inappropriate unless you look at it from the opposite point of view. Happy that we have the freedom to honor our war dead and happy that in our history as a nation there have been men and women who have stepped up to answer their country’s need. I can remember going with both my grandmothers and my mother to decorate family graves. I was always sad that my one grandfather never had a flag on his grave. As my grandmother explained, “there wasn’t a war for him to fight in”. I guess that is another reason to be happy; that not every one has a war to fight in. Our 4 year old grandson help put out flags in front of our house, 21 to honor my husband’s Navy career and 4 for our son’s years in the Marine’s and 1 for each of our father’s and their service. The rest were placed in our back yard by an active 4 year old as we talked about being in the military, why we celebrate Memorial Day and proper flag etiquette. He was running around with a flag in each hand yelling “America, America, hurrah for America”. I’m pretty sure he has 4th of July and Memorial Day mixed together but still he is learning why we celebrate our fallen military.

    Reply
  9. Carla

    I told my eldest son, who served like his dad and went to the 2nd Gulf War, that I love him and that I am so thankful he came home. I told him God has plans for his life. I knew men who fought in WW2. Good, Godly men. I think of them today in a place of no war, and I feel happy for them and grateful for the mark they left on this earth. It saddens me to see so many days which were meant to be special turned into days for sales and selfish pursuits. I am reminded that the word holiday started out as holy day. Thank you Jo, your post was very thoughtful. Blessings.

    Reply
  10. Ronda

    Hmmm….In today’s post for “The Strawberry Patch” there is a picture of your flag quilt and she says it is from Quilted Threads. It’s the exact same picture from the magazine.

    Reply
  11. Stearns Carol

    We could say we are happy because the veterans are being remembered. Without this day, they would be forgotten. That is one way to look at it. My Mom and Dad were both veterans of the Navy. He spent 42 months in a Japanese Prison Camp having been on Corregidor in the Phillipines. She worked in D.C. as a code girl. Not definite but we are pretty certain of it. My husband and I both retired from the USAF reserve.

    Reply
  12. Karin Callander

    Thank you for such a thoughtful post. And, yep, for sure, the family serves right alongside the active duty member. It grates my nerve something fierce when I hear happy memorial day. It’s become a summer sale kickoff and another day for parties for far too many folk. We spent the days visiting Papa, my 101 year old father in law. He served in WWII, stationed at Pearl Harbor, and landed on the beach at Normandy. As you can imagine there are some horrible tales to be told. I am sorry you missed the official service, but remembered, and you held your own memorial.

    Reply
    1. Carla

      Your Papa sounds like someone is like to meet. The older generations (am I almost there?!) are always so interesting to know. Blessings!

      Reply
  13. Kim J LeMere

    A vey thoughtful post and I’m sorry you missed the local service but a moment of quiet reflection is good. We came to Iowa to help my mother put flowers on the graves and to wander the cemetery and notice the graves with flags. Its a tradition that one of us goes with and some years we come back for the local service.

    Reply
  14. Joni

    As I planted the flags on my great grandfather’s grave, my grandfather’s grave, uncle’s grave the words that my friends who have served are simple; “We will never forget your sacrifice”

    Reply
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