I’m ashamed to admit this, but every year I have to look up whether today’s holiday is Memorial Day or Labor Day (it’s Memorial Day, in case you were wondering). I absolutely honor our nation’s military and work force, but I don’t think I’m alone in associating the holidays with days off of work more than what they are meant to commemorate.
It’s easy to forget why today is important. I’m spending the holiday by the lake with my family, where I’ll be eating, drinking and reading until my heart is content. The military and how much they’ve sacrificed is far from my mind.
Maybe I should feel guilty, but maybe not. Like so many Americans, I come from a military family and have friends and relatives oversees. They are never far from my mind. In fact, the National World War I Museum in Kansas City is the first place I take someone when visiting Kansas. The museum, if you haven’t been, is breathtaking and puts the lives lost in real context.
I don’t pretend to know the devestation that accompanies the death of a loved one in the military, but I do know that people have so few days they can truly spend together. Memorial Day helps us do that. So, as long as the day is spent with people you love, I say it’s a good use of the holiday.
-Kayla Regan, Current Conditions