My mom’s parents were from the mountains of Kentucky. Even though, I grew up with Memorial Day, my grandmother always called it Decoration Day. It was a huge deal to her. She not only honored the fallen servicemen but she honored all of the dead in her family by decorating their graves. She would usually make a pilgrimage back to her hometown and she had wreaths, flowers and flags and would stay a day or two to visit with family. Even when she didn’t feel well, she still carried on this tradition as if it were her responsibility.
I bring this up because sometimes, in the rat race of everyday life, we see Memorial Day as a day for car races, picnics and swimming. I used to play in Kokomo, Indiana every Memorial Day weekend and we would party the weekend away. But, as I grow older, I think it’s important to take a moment to think back, not just to all who gave their lives and served our country but to our families who came before us. To our moms, dads, grandparents, and even farther back, I thank you for your contributions. I am thankful to be here and as I prepare to go and decorate some graves of my family, I thought I would remind us all about Decoration Day.