By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
Memorial Day signals the changing of the seasons and the beginning of summer for many Americans. Who wants to wait another four weeks? We’d rather start thinking about vacations, the end of school, and what to throw on the grill.
Here in Colorado it has something to do with dragging out the lawn chairs and not having to worry about the barbecue being canceled due to snow. If we’re lucky.
Of course *Memorial Day is about much more than the barbecue and how the weather will be.
Once known as Decoration Day, it was set aside to honor the fallen from our nation’s Civil War by decorating their graves with flowers and flags.
After WWI, honors were extended to include those who were casualties in any of America’s wars.
Battlefield casualties were obviously on the founders’ minds, but the fallen have given their lives in various venues.
During WWII, many women went to work outside their homes for the first time, picking up the slack left in the wake of their deploying husbands, fathers, and brothers, gladly joining the war effort.
One very young bride took to the Long Beach shipyards in southern California while her new husband served on the damp airfields of England.
But it was he who came home to a funeral, for her lungs could not withstand the ravages of tuberculosis, and she left a toddler in his arms when she died.
Every year on Memorial Day, my husband gives a nod to the woman who gave him life and ultimately her own for her country. And I think of others whose names we will never hear who gave all of what they had to give.
The giving goes on. May we who remain live our lives in ways that continue the example of hope and faith and selflessness.
This Memorial Day, let’s pause in our reveling and remember with gratitude the fallen upon whose sacrifices we stand.
Do you have a loved one who gave his or her life?
*A version of this post first appeared on May 25, 2015