I feel like it’s important to take some time to reflect on this past weekend’s holiday, and get to the root of exactly what it means for me. Memorial Day has changed a lot over the years – and it takes on a much different meaning now, compared to when I was young.
I remember looking forward to Memorial Day when I was younger because it meant my best friend (and personally adopted sister) and her family were coming up for the weekend. We’d spend the days playing outside, locking the parents out of my room with a doorstop, and the nights staying up reading books and quietly playing so the parents wouldn’t know we were awake.
Then in high school things started to change. There were no sleepovers with friends and staying up all night. Life got busy for everybody. And now this year, almost 15 years since that last sleepover weekend, Memorial Day has a much more serious meaning. Maybe it’s because I’m older now, experienced loss and heartbreak. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up in a world filled with war and hatred.
Whatever the cause, I have a new appreciation for military members and their families. They sacrifice so much more than anybody can imagine to protect us. And when I hear stories from Syria, or other war-torn areas I think how lucky we are here in America to not be oppressed. And while we do have issues related to race and gender, we do not see the genocide of other areas.
Because I live in the United States, I am able to run on the street in my neighborhood without being worried about a militia taking me away or being caught in the crossfire of two disagreeing groups. That’s a huge deal. We have so much here that people take for granted every day. So I implore you, take a step back. Think about everything you have and be THANKFUL. What you have, even if it is only a little, is still more than what someone else.