If there’s one thing Americans love doing, it’s celebrating America when it’s hot outside. Summertime in the United States means two big holidays with lake trips and BBQ’s. Nothing says “Murica” like foreign beer!
All too often, we get lost in the excitement of all the fun & forget what these holiday’s are actually about. Fourth of July is another story, but Memorial Day? There’s nothing happy about this day. It is a day to grieve the loss of and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so we can live freely.
I’ve been fortunate thus far in my 29 years of life. I’ve lost two grandparents, but I know many who have lost so much more. Aside from that, I grew up in a divorced household, so naturally, I didn’t see my grandparents on my Dad’s side of the family.
This isn’t to say I wasn’t sad or upset when they passed, I just never had the opportunity to grow as close to them as I did my grandparents on my Mom’s side of the family. I saw them a lot more.
Most of the men in my family have served in the military, and for that I will be eternally grateful. But loss and the military? These aren’t things I’ve experienced together. I still haven’t, but my baby brother has.
I call him baby brother because he’s the youngest of three children, though he’s in his twenties.
Yesterday at a family barbecue, he asked if I’d join him outside. I followed him to the fire pit. He had two Dos Equis in his hands.
“Do you remember my friend from boot camp? You know, the one that -” he shrugged.
I nodded in agreement. He was referring to Steven Miller. A friend he’d made who ended up making the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. It hit home for me because I saw someone I love hurting due to loss. All I could do was be there for him. I can’t relate, and I can’t even show sympathy, because in order to do that, you have to have experienced something similar. All I could do was stand there with my brother while he killed his beer and poured the other into the fire pit for Steven Miller.
We must not forget. We must always remember, men and women give their lives everyday so we maintain our freedoms.
I enjoyed my barbecue and long weekend, but I also made it a point to reflect and be thankful that I was able to in the first place.
Until next time,