Memorial Day Appreciation: Say Two Words
We’ve always celebrated Memorial Day with a barbeque, watching the parade and the official opening of the swimming pool at my dad’s. We know that the day is meant for honoring our men and women who give everything they have, including their lives, to keep us safe.
However, we also see the holiday as a way of celebrating our togetherness as a family, because without those soldiers and service men and women, our lives, our world, could be entirely different.
This year though, I feel the holiday reflects even more so on family and how personal the meaning of the Memorial Day holiday is. Yes, we’ll still likely celebrate with watching the parade and our annual family barbeque but one thing will be missing from that day; my brother.
As I’m watching the parade go by, I’ll be waving and clapping and cheering with my children, but somewhere in my mind, I’ll also be saying a prayer and cheering for my little brother.
You see, he will miss this year’s festivities and miss out on being thrown in the pool by my husband, listening to the kids yammer on about video games, what they want to do this summer and how mean I am (they don’t need to tell him, he already knows). He will miss all of this because he is overseas right now. He’s serving our country and representing the U.S.
He is missed in ways I can’t even begin to tell you and it isn’t until you have a brother, sister, or parent who has been beside you through every piece of your life not be there to share these days with you, that you truly feel the meaning of this holiday down in your soul.
While I didn’t see my brother every day before he enlisted in the Army, he was still a fixture in my life. He was a text message away, a phone call or a 30 minute drive. Now he’s a world away from me and as his big sister, it’s hard to not be able to check in with him like I used to be able to. I now wait for updates, emails, and letters.
I know he’s doing this job for our family but he’s also doing it for yours. You’ve never met him but if you did, you’d love him like all of us do.
Before this summer is over, I hope to be able to see him but until I can, I’d like you to do one thing for me; While you’re watching the parade, grilling steaks or taking a dip in the water with your children – look out into sky and say Thank You. Not just for my brother Justin, but for all of the men and women who keep us safe today and every day.
Those two words of kindness and appreciation help these men and women keep going until they get to come home to their families. Those two words make our time away more bearable, makes their job protecting us in every capacity worthwhile. Those two words reach down into every person with someone who keeps our cities, towns, and country safe and touches them in ways we can’t express.