The Meaning of Memorial Day

May 25, 2009
So many people, myself included at times, think of Memorial day as just another holiday that they got off school or work. Sometimes it's hard to remember the reason we get the day off. It's hard to remember that each number in a statistic is not just a number, but a human life. Sometimes it's hard to remember that there are people dying everyday overseas fighting in a war. And sometimes it's hard to remember that each tombstone in the vast number of rocks laid out in a cemetery represents a friend, mother, or father that has passed away and is greatly missed. As I walk along the rows of warped and tarnished tombstones, I squint at the rotted and barely visible names carved into each rock. The names are faded, and the appreciation and memory that each name had is fading too. People are forgetting. People are forgetting that each tombstone marks a special person in the world that has passed on. Martina McBride says in her song Concrete Angel, "A name is written on a polished rock. A broken heart that the world forgot." Although this song does not pertain to Memorial Day, that line holds meaning. People die everyday, and the world will not stop to greive. It's hard. It seems like when your loved one dies, it's cruel that the stores aren't closed or people aren't crying, but are carrying on with their normal lives. The world moves on, whether you do or not. Memorial day is a special day. A day to remember those who died fighting for our country, people who's rotted tombstones may be barely visible. Next memorial day, I will be sure to remember that it is not just another day off school, but a memorial for those lost and forgotton souls of our nation.

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