As a child I thought the day was called Flag day because we put irises on family graves and my mother called irises flags. Once my mother took me to a "flag show" and I was surprised there were no grave markers, only rows and rows of irises of every color and size imaginable.
When it comes right down to it, Memorial Day is no longer a day, but a weekend. We took flowers to two cemeteries Saturday because we wanted to beat the rain that was forecast for Sunday and Monday. Both cemeteries were brilliant with floral displays and at one a program complete with bagpipes was in progress. Last night my husband and I watched a tribute to fallen soldiers on TV. It was excellent and it impressed me because no politicians used it to further their agendas.
With each passing year I have more graves to visit. This year is particularly touching as the first Memorial Day since my sister's passing with such a short interval since my father and brother went to the other side. Each year my father words become more poignant, "I know more people at the cemetery than at church." He only lacked four months of reaching his centennial birthday when he was called home. I'm an adult with grown children and eleven grandchildren, but I never stop missing my parents and wishing Daddy and I could take one more fishing trip or that Mama and I could go for another walk and have a long talk.
Memorial Day has become a three day weekend, a time for summer cookouts (except this year-it's hard to grill in the rain), a chance to get away for a few days, even to shop sales and that's okay, but along with enjoying time with our living family members, it is good to remember those who have gone ahead. I believe individuals and families, communities and countries, are stronger when they pause to remember loved ones no longer with us. We owe soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom, parents and ancestors who made our lives possible, and the memories shared with those who are gone continue to enrich our lives. Let us not be among those who fail to remember.
This is the last day of the May Wish List Contest! A new contest will begin tomorrow.