During Memorial Day we can often get sidetracked with the typical preparations for grilling the perfect meat entrees, who to invite, or even whose place is the best to visit to enjoy that perfect grilled hamburger and side of potato salad. You have worked hard these past months and your boss has been a complete jerk! You deserve this three day weekend! You need to take advantage of this paid-time off to party that stress off, or finally catch up with your friends that you have avoided due to all those overtime hours at work. Jokes aside, it can be difficult to remember that this day was meant to spend time truly honoring our fallen heroes who bravely defended our country when the social norm pressures us to do quite the opposite. For example, Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer; thus, one of the most lucrative sales events of the year. That 70” television that you have always wanted is now half-off and is in limited supply! You must spend your holiday time off shopping or getting those amazing deals! Again jokes aside, this is why it can be difficult for some to commemorate the fallen veterans, current service men and women, and families.
The purpose of this blog is not to shame or induce feelings of guilt for having plans to spend time having fun on Memorial Day, but to inform you that there is a way to do both – to combine the two elements. For example, you can use the party that your attending as a social platform to educate and/or remind people of the true purpose for Memorial Day. The VA Long Beach Healthcare System even has a ceremony that is open to the public that is based on honoring the service and sacrifice of our nation’s fallen heroes who gave everything. On the other hand, you could take a more subtle approach and make a social media post acknowledging our fallen heroes and making sure to not offend but to rather inspire. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance, but again that doesn’t mean that you cannot combine the elements without respecting the true nature of why this day is observed. I hope you have a blessed day and can join me on May 27th in honoring our fallen heroes.
Authored by Damian Fowler, LMFT