Living near a summer tourist destination can be a pain. The influx of traffic, tourists, and cost increase can get a little annoying — excuse me, a lot annoying. But as Monday approaches, I don’t let it get to me. After all this holiday is about our fallen heroes, about the service members that paid the ultimate price for our country. The brave individuals that make it possible for me to have free speech and have this blog.I thank our Veterans and current military every day, and I truly believe everyone should. But Memorial Day isn’t about those that are still with us, it is about those that died. It is a time to thank our fallen heroes. A day to pay respect. A day to honor. A day to just remember what they have done for us. For all the fun of a holiday weekend and all the barbecues, it should never take away from the somber day Monday is.
Being the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran I know firsthand the cost of war. My dad may have survived Vietnam physically, but it forever changed him. It forever changed our family. My brother is a Marine and so is my sister. My sister returned from Afghanistan a few months ago and while I worry everyday about her, I am thankful she returned. She didn’t return without some scars, but she did return.But what about all the brave men and women who did not? How does their family handle this holiday? Do they get mad that the world now really doesn’t honor this day for what it truly symbolizes? It has become commercialized and if that stings me to the core, what does it do to them?
I have learned firsthand that these families handle it will class. Being offended aside, they don’t let others take away the day for them, take away their memories. The Gold Star families that I will see Monday at my local Memorial Day service will make me cry but they will also make me proud. Their strength will make me proud. Their courage will make me proud. Their character will make me proud. Their patriotism will make me proud. And being able to be in the same room as them will make me proud.No one wants war, but sometimes it is the only option. That sucks, but it’s the truth. It is your right to be against war, but you don’t have to be pro-war to be pro-troops. These brave men and women gave you that right, they deserve your respect. No one should ever go through what our Vietnam Vets went through when they returned.
So this holiday weekend when someone annoys you, please just let it go. Please just remember what this holiday is about. And please remember the sacrifices made so you can have off on Monday. After all, Laura Bush will be doing the same thing.