Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! It’s a special day here in the U.S. We pay homage and honor those that have served our country. And those that have served us in our lives.
I wrote the following post 5 years ago on our family blog. I was again reminded of it this year as Memorial Day is upon us. I learned about Memorial Day, love of country and loved ones that year. More than I had in my whole lifetime. I thought I would share it with you on my blog, today.
Opa after he had arranged and rearranged his bouquets for Granny.
Look at all the flowers! If you look in the background, you can see all the cars lined up to get to in.
A couple of weeks ago, I was in Utah waiting for our grand daughter’s birth. I was staying with my Father-in-Law aka(Opa). I had stopped at Smith’s on Saturday to buy some groceries for myself, so I would not eat all of Opa’s food. As I walked into the store, there were rows and rows of Mums for sale. 3 for $12. I was wondering,”Hmmmm, what the heck? Why are people loading their shopping carts with these mums?” I did not think another thing about it.
We got up early Monday morning, and drove about 5 minutes to the cemetery. I was taken back by the droves of people there! We had to wait in line to get in! As I looked across the cemetery, I saw rows and rows of mums! That IS WHY I saw those on sale! It was breath taking and beautiful to look across the headstones and marvel at a sea of flowers. As we stayed for awhile, Opa arranged and rearranged his bouquets, there was a man walking through the cemetery wearing a kilt, playing “Amazing Grace” on his bagpipes! I was touched at the thought of loved ones coming here on this day to honor their mothers, fathers, children, spouses, and siblings. I almost felt like I was intruding on their time.
As I was taking pictures of Granny’s headstone, I noticed something! There was shade ALL around, and the sun was shining on her stone! It was actually glowing! My eyes welled up with tears, as I thought of Granny, herself glowing with Christlike love. I showed Opa of my discovery, and he replied, “Well, I wouldn’t expect anything less.”
I was so taken by this experience. I found that I have been missing out all these years of not visiting a cemetery every Memorial Day. I felt that my children also missed out, by me not sharing an experience like that with them while growing up.
I had always thought you would visit the grave of someone who had served our country on that day, not all other loved ones, too. I learned so much. Opa was ready to leave before I was. I tried to envelope the smells, sounds and sights of the day. I gained a new love and respect for Memorial Day. One, I hope to carry every year from now on.
Since then, I have visited a cemetery every year. Hubby and I attend a memorial service put on by one of our local cemeteries. We listen and pray with those in attendance. It’s almost a sacred event. It’s time for reflection and patriotism.
After the ceremony, Hubby and I place tiny flags on and around headstones. We don’t know any of the people that have passed on, or their families. We enjoy the spirit of feeling like we have set aside one day in our lives to honor those who have served our country and/or their own families.
We look forward to it every year. We like hearing the bagpipes, the choirs singing, and seeing the Veterans lined up for the flag salute. If you haven’t ever experienced a Memorial Day like this before, I would encourage you to do so. It will warm your heart and soul.
Happy Memorial Day everyone!