I wake up on the fourth Monday of May like any other day. I’m glad for a day off, but I’ve forgotten why I don’t have school or work. I sluggishly move, munching on stale cereal and scanning for the remote. I flop onto the couch, flip on the television, and find ESPN. But instead of updates of yesterday's sports the first topic is that of today, Memorial Day, not sports. I slouch there when I register that this isn’t any other Monday.
I continue through the day with reminders of why this isn’t any other day. I hop onto social media and notice post about thanking the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. During baseball games, they take a moment of silence and then one of recognition for those that have served this nation. The first topic on the news praises the warriors who fought bravely for our country. Even the succulent smell of stake on the grill reminds me of the privileges I have because of the soldiers that keep us safe.
I go to bed like any other Monday with my bed cluttered, teeth cleansed, and body crushed from the day. But I have different mindset than any other day. I lay down recalling why I’m able to unwind in peace, why I’m able to close my eyelids without worries, and why I’m able to run cross country and be entertained by Game of Thrones. It’s because of soldiers who travel overseas with a gun in both hands and a purpose of keeping the nation safe. I remind myself Memorial Day is about the soldiers who are now gone from this world. Memorial day, for me, is remembrance, recognition, and respect for the soldiers of the USA.