HOORAY! WHOO HOO! YIPPEE!! It’s FINALLY Memorial Day Weekend!!!!
TAKE A VACATION!
LET’S GO TO THE BEACH!
And of course, if you’re in the Chicago area…
GET YOUR LEATHER ON AND STRUT AROUND THE CITY!
Now there’s no doubt that I’m really excited about a 3-day weekend. In fact, it’s been too long in coming. But it always seems to me that we forget the real reason we have a Memorial Day in the first place.
Memorial Day was a day designed to remember those who have gone before us… specificially, it was originally designed to honor those who died in action while serving our country.
However, as a national holiday, it is now designed to remember all of our loved ones who have passed away. Many still observe this day with visits to cemetaries throughout the country, planting flowers or leaving bouquets.
As a kid, we did this in both Kenosha and my mom’s hometown of Antioch, IL. This was the day where we visited the graves of my grandparents, my parents’ grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members that I had never met. Mom and Dad would tell stories about our passed relatives as we planted flowers in front of the stones. And then my sister and I were given the task of hunting down the nearest water fountain so we could fill up the watering cans. It was a yearly ritual that we may not have necessarily looked forward to every year, but we could count on occuring.
The holiday still is a day to remember, but many of us do it by having family picnics or outings. It’s a double-whammy of remembering our loved ones and celebrating the unofficial arrival of summer. Even though sometimes it’s freezing and raining outside. 🙂
It’s sad to me that our family has gotten out of the habit of visiting the graves, though. But with my parents’ declining health, it’s gotten harder for them to make the trip. My uncle still tries to get to them each year, but I know my mom hasn’t been out to Antioch in many years to visit the graves of her family members.
So enjoy your 3-day weekend. But take a few moments and remember some loved ones.
My Nana, Ann Aiello. 1917-1992
Me with my Grandma, Betty Anderson. 1906-1985
A pile of memories