The lilacs are blooming here in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I can smell them when I walk out my front door.
The honey bees are buzzing, which is a good thing since we just recently got our hive placed.
The grass is a little long, even though I just push mowed the two-plus acres less than a week ago.
My youngest daughter and her friends are laughing as they discuss clothing options for their commencement ceremony which will take place Sunday.
I’m stressed. There is so much to do this weekend and just not enough time to do it all. I’d have to be a superhero to make it all happen.
That’s when it hits me. The long weekend that we’re getting ready to celebrate in the United States is about more than the unofficial start of the summer. It’s about more than graduations and grilling burgers. It’s not even about the Indy 500.
It’s all about freedom.
Memorial Day started as a time to remember the soldiers of the Civil War, now it’s a time to remember those men and women who’ve died serving our country whenever and where ever. It’s a time many people choose to remember their loved ones who have died, even if they weren’t veterans.
I know for a fact that being in the military is tough work. Even in a time of peace. There is still separation from family members. There is still long hours preparing for the worst. There is still the stress of job.
Being in the military is tough. I know. I served. My husband served. We’ve both missed various birthdays and holidays as our girls were growing up. Heck, my dad had to miss family events when I was a kid and he was never in the military. He was a cop.
There are a lot of similarities between law enforcement and military service. Both professions give up some of their own rights to ensure society gets to keep theirs. Both professions often have to put duty above family, even when they really don’t want to.
One of my favorite quotes about the military is by Father Dennis Edward O’Brian, USMC:
It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.
The freedoms we have in the United States shouldn’t be taken lightly. They should be remembered, not just during a three-day weekend, or when the calendar says it’s the right time. They are something we should appreciate each and every day.
Take some time this Memorial Day weekend to thank someone who has sacrificed to serve. You’ll make their day. You just might make yours, too.