It's more than a day off of work, it's a day to remember our family, friends and strangers who sacrificed in order to make America the country it is.
Many cities will celebrate with a parade. Veterans will march or walk through the town, flags will be displayed on homes and in cemeteries to mark those that gave their all.
I remember growing up in Amherst, Ohio and participating in the Memorial Day parade. My cousin, Kaye, was a majorette for the high school band and twirled her baton in the parade. I sometimes carried the banner or rode in the float with the Girl Scouts. We always ended our parade at the local cemetery, where my family was buried.
While I no longer live in Amherst and can't participate in the parade, I still visit the cemetery each time I go back there. I drive by my great uncles who died on my birthday (way before I was born) during World War Two and stop by my grandparent's and great-grandparent's tombstones. I point out my family headstones to my husband each time we drive through, even though he could probably point them out to me by now. Most importantly, I stop and visit with my mom. While she didn't serve in the military, the cemetery is now her home and I love to stop and update her on what's going on in my life.
The trip through the cemetery is a bittersweet one. More and more of my family members are there each year. Seeing their names brings to mind some of the best times we spent together at family reunions, birthday parties, and cookouts. As Memorial Day comes, I won't be able to visit the cemetery to see my family, but I will be there in spirit, thanking my family and everyone who gave the ultimate sacrifice that allowed our country to be the wonderful place it is!
What are your memories of Memorial Day? How do you celebrate? I'd love to hear your thoughts!