Some of my most enduring memories from childhood revolve around Memorial Day. Part of this has to do with the fact that it marks the start of summer; and summer was a joyous and carefree time. More so, I remember how we marked Memorial Day when I was young.
Every year our town held a Memorial Day Parade. There were veterans from both world wars (I’m that old.), and Korea and active duty military as well. There were floats and cars with local dignitaries and the marching band from the high school, and so on. And one of the big reasons I remember the parade so well is that every cub scout and girl scout troop in town marched as well. There we were in our little scout uniforms, marching down Broad Street stopping every now and then for a salute and a moment of silence.
It was exciting. And, it was a lesson. We were being taught that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. We are part of a story that is ongoing and includes tales of duty, honor, and sacrifice. We are reminded that as we head off to the picnic and play in the pool or at the beach, that we do so because others who heard and lived our story, stepped up when the call came and gave themselves over to protect an idea, a way of life that celebrates that we are free and bound together at the same time.
So, fly the flag. Take a moment. Re-member.