I have a dirty little secret. Well, maybe not super secret. It’s not like I’m dressed in black sneaking around a la John Belushi in “Animal House” when he goes to spy on the sorority chicks. It’s more of the sleep in, maybe go to the beach, treat it as just an extended weekend, flippant acknowledgement of the upcoming holiday. Look, I’ve got to be honest with all of y’all out there in Four Foxes One Hound land. I rarely honor Memorial Day with the respect it deserves.
I know. I know. How can I be so casual about it when I am married to a military man? Easy….because he is. Now, I will say, he will spend a good part of the weekend watching military documentaries on the History channel or something like that. But for me, Memorial weekend has usually meant cookouts, birthday parties, or weekend getaways. One of the kids has a birthday on May 24th, so her birthday celebration usually falls on that long weekend. (On Thursday I will officially become a Mother of a Teenage Girl. God help me!)
We talk about doing something more patriotic like going out to the local fort, reading the military flier about special events honoring fallen comrades, but rarely does it happen. If major plans haven’t already been made (weekend trip to Orlando and the theme parks, birthday parties, etc.), then that’s when the marathon long event of World War II movies and documentaries invade our household. I should feel guiltier, but I don’t.
Back when I was teaching high school, this was the time when everything was winding down. Memorial Day meant an extra day to get papers graded and grades done. Depending on how long the school year extended past the holiday, the weekend was that last gasp of breath to push through to make it to the golden Last Day of School. (Can you hear the angels sing?)
Memorial Weekend is that kickoff to summer. That “Hooray! School is practically over!” celebration. That “Is this sunscreen still any good?” moment. And maybe in those quiet moments between the swimming and the barbeque, I’ll say a silent prayer for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. A simple “Thank You” for the brave men and women who gave to make our country great.