Memorial Day, also known as Decoration Day, is a day – and a weekend – that reminds me of the traditions we maintain, and the gratitude we should feel for every veteran that has ever served our country. Memorial Day originally started as a day of remembrance for the Union soldiers who died during the Civil War and was celebrated by decorating the gravesites of those soldiers.
I am very proud of the generations of my family that have served over the years. My grandfather was a World War I veteran and earned a purple heart at Argonne. My father was a bombsight maintenance mechanic during World War II, who serviced B-24 “Liberty” and B-25 “Mitchell” bombers in Italy. His brother (my uncle), landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, June 6th, 1944. My big brother served during the Vietnam War, and was an MP in Korea. My brother-in-law was also Vietnam veteran, but never mentioned a word about it. My nephew was a Marine, who served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I am also very proud of my daughters, who have decorated the gravesites of veterans at a local cemetery every Saturday morning of the Memorial weekend for the past fifteen years. It is traditions like these that are important to maintain, and to remember and honor those who have performed the “greatest sacrifice” for all we hold dear.