Thoughts about Remembrance and Memorial Day
What’s a memorial?
You’re smart peeps. You already know a memorial is generally some sort of marker erected as a reminder of something or someone that was a very big deal. It represents the inexpressible because the emotion, heroism, devotion, and/or impact prompted by the event or human was so powerful.
If you’re living in the US, you know Memorial Day is coming up this Monday. Typically, Americans have the day off work. If the weather is good (and we aren’t housebound), it’s also a time for gathering, grilling, fireworks…just a day for a good-shin-diggy-hoedown fun.
I find this irksome.
In fact, I’m a bit of a curmudgeon about all holidays. Why? Because whoever or whatever was assigned a special day likely had an epic impact upon human history. So I get twitchy when only one day is reserved…and often that one day is focused on trinkets destined for dumpsters, or stuffing faces with freakishly large quantities of food. I don’t mean to come off as a Debbie Downer here.
Go ahead.. Bust out the Twinkies! Launch the spud guns! Blow up flamingo floaties and amble about in the cement pond.
It’s great to celebrate Memorial Day (or any other holiday). 9 times out of 10, it is because of the people and events honored on these days that we are able to enjoy a day off in the first place!
I’m just wondering if sometimes the focus of these special days is misplaced.
You know, there is another part of the definition of memorial. A memorial is also an expression, service, or ritual that is conducted with deep devotion for souls who sacrificed – made a difference – changed the lives of others.
I know you, fine folks. So I know you all take the time to honor and be grateful for the extraordinary mac-daddy’s and mac-mamma’s who have changed our world through their lives and actions.
Many of you, like me, recognize these phenomenal souls with your own personal memorials.
If not, that’s understandable. Life gets nuts. But consider lighting a devotional candle every night, or once a week and simply give thanks to those who have shifted our lives in profound ways.
If you’d like more ideas about this topic, I have a whole passel of insights and symbols that explore memory, memorial, and remembrance.
In these articles, you will find interesting stuff like…
Links to Memorial Day Mindfulness
- Cute but cathartic: The Koala is considered a symbol of memorial. Why?
- An apple a day: Not just keeping doctors away…also a memorial symbol.
- Crowning Colonel McCrae: Why are poppies associated with memorial day?
All that said, I am wishing you all the best this Memorial Day, and every day.