Memorial Day means a lot of things to us. It’s first and foremost the time of year when we say thank you and remember those who lost their lives protecting the freedom all of us enjoy. It’s a day that I will go to the cemetery and visit my father’s grave and say a prayer for him and thank him for all the lessons I learned from him. It’s a day I will spend with my family, have a little barbeque, have my mom and stepdad over and I might even have a beer, to be honest with you.

Memorial Day is a day we need to embrace; it’s a day that I hope never loses its meaning. A lot of things seem to be losing their meaning. When I was growing up, you sat quietly in church and used that hour to reflect and try to improve your life. When I was growing up, you said thank you to someone who held a door for you, waved to the person who let you over in traffic, and didn’t throw trash out the car window. When I was little, Mother’s Day was a day you spent with mom.

Today, there’s too much talking in church. People don’t say thank you enough, or if they do, it’s via e-mail, not a phone call or handwritten note. People drive way too fast and aren’t considerate. And, we still have those who throw cigarettes out the window, which might be my number one pet peeve in life. A few weeks ago, I spent Mother’s Day at a soccer field and I still don’t feel good about that one.

I’m not here to complain, although I do sound like Andy Rooney, I suppose. I’m just here to tell you, let’s work together and continue to embrace some of the traditions we’ve grown up with. Let’s not lose sight of what’s best for all of us and let’s remember that two of the best things we can do are to thank those who have gone before us and helped us and spend time with our families and friends.

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