Memorial Day is about being thankful for having the power to act, speak, and think as we please. It is a day devoted to celebrating and honoring the men and women who sacrifice their lives for the freedom of Americans. Some families spend Memorial Day at cemeteries and memorials, at parades, or at family gatherings.
The sun sets in the backyard of my uncle’s house. The fire grows and the people gather. A box overflowing with torn and battered flags is set near the fire. The crowd is quiet as Uncle Charlie shares his story about his loved ones lost in battle. You can see the pain in his eyes as he explains how proud he was to have such courageous friends and family, that were willing to go to Iraq to fight for our freedom. Friends and family participate by grabbing a flag and placing it in the fire. As the flags burn and the pledge plays, there is a moment of silence for the men and women who were lost at war.
Driving to Pick n’ Save on Sundays, and seeing a cheerful old man with a sharp soldier cap, ringing bells and handing out bright red poppies makes me smile. I place my donation in the bin. As the veteran hands me my poppy, I think about how no amount of money could show my appreciation for what they have done for me and our country.
May 9th, 1865, ended one of the darkest moments in United States history, the civil war. Since then, our country has come far to give freedom to the proud people of America. On this day, we honor the men and women who fought for the power to act, speak, and think as we please. These Men and women are the reason we can live our lives with freedom.