What Does Memorial Day Mean to You?

What does Memorial Day mean to me?

Perhaps not surprisingly, I found that it means a lot of things:

It means the gathering of family at cemeteries, to remember those we love and miss. I love how the photo below shows the bringing together of posterity that happened because of one truly great man: my grandfather. Even though some of those we love have passed on, they bring us together still.

Memorial Day means a day free from the day-to-day schedules that often hold us bound: school, work, routine. It’s a day to enjoy vicariously the vitality and spontaneity of childhood through my growing nieces and nephews as they play in the sandbox, as they explore their growing motor functioning, as they seem to grow up in front of my eyes.


It’s a day of barbecuing, watermelon-seed-spitting, corn-husking, and ice-cream-licking. Truly, is there anything more American about Memorial Day than a plethora of grilled goodies–juicy hamburgers, hand-skewered vegetable kabobs, and freshly mashed avocado salsa?

It’s a day of pausing to be a little more consciously grateful of the liberties afforded us because of the sacrifice and dedication of millions who have gone on before.

So, in summation, Memorial Day for me is a bringing together–not only of loving ones living, but of the very blood that connects us to those who have gone on before. Tonight, upon arriving back home to Logan, Matt and I took a trip to another cemetery, this one a little closer to home. There, we found the headstone of my great-great-great-grandmother, and flowers were laid down in her memorial for perhaps the first time in several decades (since we only recently found her grave last year).

As we quietly walked back to the car afterwards, I shared with Matt her story–how she’d spent her whole life in poverty, losing her first husband (whom she loved dearly) and later having to marry for convenience a man whom she later divorced, and how she came across the plains in search of the truth after hearing the Mormon missionaries. She devoted the last part of her life seeking out her own ancestors and leaving behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.

Memorial Day reminds me that wherever I have gone in life is not to my own credit, but that I stand on the backs of all of those who have gone on before.

Truly I am grateful for ALL those who lift me up daily, both living and deceased.

What does Memorial Day mean to you?


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