A federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who have died while serving in the country’s armed forces.
For some, a somber time.
For some, a party. A cookout with family and friends.
The unofficial start of summer, a reminder of brothers and sisters lost in battle.
Some people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many people put an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
Memorial Day should not be confused with Veterans Day.
Memorial Day is so much more than just barbecues, celebrating with friends and family a day off work–for some, it is a hard day of remembrance. Battle buddies gone, missions where soldiers were lost. It can be difficult. There are memories that can come flooding in at any time for Veterans and family members. Remember, not everyone will be happy or excited for an extra day off, let alone, excited to enjoy a grilled something or other–it can be hard.
I simply cannot put into words the struggle of losing someone to war. I cannot find the words to express how heartbreaking it is to hear of one of Sam’s soldiers taking their life. I struggle to find words to express how I feel on these “anniversary days,” mainly because I haven’t had the experiences.
Sam served in the Army for 12 years. During that time he met a lot of people. I would go as far to say he has several battle buddies. Due to the nature of war, some of those soldiers never made it home, and some came home but struggled with the civilian world. I’ve had the opportunity to meet two of Sam’s closest battle buddies. I can tell you that those men share a bond with Sam that I may never understand, and that’s okay. Those men went through situations that some of us cannot even fathom. While distance separates them, I know they are always there for Sam.
I would imagine that Memorial Day brings memories for Sam, his battle buddies, and their families that might be unpleasant or uneasy.
With these thoughts on anniversary dates, Memorial Day, and other memories that might be negative and associated with loss, I remember this quote:
“We should never underestimate the power of our actions. With one small gesture, we can change a person’s outlook…So what does it mean to be a battle buddy? It could mean saving a life.”
A battle buddy, a listening ear, family member, spouse, significant other—can save lives.
So, this Memorial Day please remember those who have lost their lives in battle. Take a minute to remember their families: parents, spouses, children, loved ones…while it may be a time for celebration for some, it is a time of loss and remembrance as well.