Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Remembering Memorial Day

Monday is Memorial Day. What began as a day to commemorate soldiers who fought in the Civil War, has morphed into a day to remember all the people who have passed from our lives whether they served in the military or not.

There are Memorial Day ceremonies at various cemeteries in the area. The playing of Taps and 21 gun salutes are only part of the fare at these ceremonies.

Of the people who have passed through my life, my grandfather was a WWII veteran and my father-in-law fought in Korea. Naturally, I did not know either of those men during that time in their lives. I don't suppose I pay any more homage to them because they were veterans than any of the others who have passed through my life. If I went to the graves of my grandparents and paid tribute to the WW II veteran and didn't give any notice to his wife lying next to him, I think that might be a little callous. I appreciate what he did, but it didn't make up the sum of his life. The sum of his life for me involves the deep appreciation of the Sunday Comics and Green Acres. My father-in-law was a very patriotic person, but he didn't talk much of his time in Korea. I don't remember him as a soldier. That part of his life didn't intersect with mine. I remember him as an outspoken, opinionated man with a strong sense of humor; that is the sum of his life to me.

Today a friend of mine died. In the future I will remember her when Memorial Day comes around. She will join the ranks of others who have passed through my life. In memory of those that have served as good examples of how to live my life, and those whose deaths have reminded me that life is short; I am thankful.

Life is too short to waste on things that don't matter. Life is too short to waste being unhappy. Life is too short not to spend time doing things you enjoy. Life is too short not to remember the people who have gone before us and made our lives better just for being in them. Life is too short not to give homage to the veterans who fought to protect the lives we now live.

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