For most, Memorial Day has been a day off work to have a barbecue in the backyard with family and friends. A mini-vacation, one would say. On the other hand, for others, it is a day of mourning. Especially those who have suffered loss during their time in service; for them, this is a day where they feel the collective weight of grief.
Our military and veteran communities all carry the burden of grief. However, they learn to cope by continuing their roles and pushing forward in the world their fallen brothers and sisters fought for.
However, Memorial Day is a day that essentially makes those struck with grief remember those traumatic memories and, in some cases, lays a burden of survivor’s guilt upon them.
Therefore, is it even appropriate to “celebrate” Memorial Day?
To celebrate doesn’t always mean that the event is joyous or something to be happy about. It technically means to acknowledge the impact of the particular event taking place. And in this case, we are taking the time to recognize the meaning behind Memorial Day.
Acknowledge the relationships lost. Acknowledge the stories and memories made. Recognize the grievances of those who have lost. Memorial Day is our chance to grieve together as a nation, providing a sense of unity and gratitude.
Let us make sure no one who has suffered is alone today, for it is an overwhelming day of remembrance, and join them in celebration and grief.