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What is the purpose of Memorial Day? Why do we have this holiday?
Of course, it is a three-day weekend. A perfect time to hit the road and do something in the great outdoors. After all, in most parts of the country it’s the start of the Summer season. Time to clean off the grill, get out the frisbee, and invite family and friends over for the first barbecue of the season.
But wait, before you get going on the “Yay! It’s Summer” theme, take a moment to remember the origin of this holiday.
It started as Decoration Day. The Civil War ended in the Spring of 1865 claiming 600,000 lives. More lives than in other wars in US History. Decoration Day was a day set aside to decorate the graves of those who died in this war. Graves were decorated with flowers and flags with a goal to honor the ultimate sacrifice of those who died. By the end of the 1800’s Decoration Day was an official holiday.
After World War I, Decoration Day was changed to Memorial Day. The revamped holiday was set aside as a time to remember all who gave their lives in service of our country in any war. Memorial Day is a distinctively American holiday and is properly celebrated with red, white, and blue American enthusiasm.
It is also a time to visit the cemetery and decorate the graves, fly the flag, and go to a parade. It might also be a time to think about and learn a little about American History. You could even make it a family activity. Get the kids to put those electronic devices to good use playing Memorial Day Trial Pursuit of sorts. How many wars have we Americans participated in? Where did we fight? Why were we fighting? Just go with the tried and true journalism questions… who, what, where, when, and why. There is a lot to learn. Your family might even have a discussion!
Use a little of that time off work to learn about, remember, and honor all the men and women who have died in military service.
Mothers come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. There are tall moms, short moms, thin moms, and moms with soft edges. There are single moms, moms with partners and moms with husbands. Moms are an indispensable part of our existence. They literally keep the human species from becoming extinct. Hooray for Moms! Today is their day!
There are different ways to become a mother, but there really is no training program for being a mom. Most moms will tell you they had no idea what they were getting into. The job requires that one learns as one goes. On the job training.
There are a few how to parent books that may be helpful. Then there is always the option of getting advice from another mother or even your own mother. But, when all is said and done, it is the mom who decides. Moms decide what their children eat, what they wear, and when they sleep. Then one day the decision maker dynamics change. This change comes when the child develops a mind of his own. Children typically begin to come into their own mind beginning at about age three and believe themselves to know all by age 12. Then a mother prays.
Moms are always “moming” no matter how old their children become, no matter how many degrees they get or how smart they are, no matter they are moms themselves. Being a mom is a forever job.
Once you have a child you never really sleep soundly again. Oh, and yes, moms do have eyes in the back of their heads. They grow in when their child begins to crawl. They stay fully functional for the life of the mother. Some mothers are able to put blinders on those eyes once a child becomes self-supporting, but other moms just keep watching forever! Moms are wonderful but never perfect, you know.
So, how do you say thank you for all of that? It really doesn’t take a lot. Mothers are notoriously easy to please. A call, a card, dinner out, flowers. It’s pretty easy to please a mom. Don’t forget, May 12 is MOTHER’S DAY. Send her your love!