Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Memories

Memorial Day is a US Federal Holiday that occurs every year in May on the last Monday of the month. It is a day that everyone should be remembering and honoring all the fallen soldiers from any war that the United States have been involved with. For any solider killed while in military service for their country. Men Women, there is no difference on Monday it is a day to respect and again, honor those that have died in any military war or action.

For the intent of this holiday, there is no work. Banks are closed, schools too. Most towns -that I know of at least- will have a parade that strolls through the main street of your town, and in the town that I live in, the parade will begin on the north side of our town and wind her way all the way down until they stop at the final spot-the cemetery.

Almost everyone that I know of welcomes this day. For some, like our little ones, they're just happy to have a "day off" from school. Perhaps that's the case with the older ones as well. You're not required to do anything, although it'd be nice if everyone did stop at some point on this day to remember those that sacrificed their lives for wars that were warranted, or not. To remember those that gave up the opportunity to grow old, to have children, to get married, to celebrate wedding anniversaries, to see their children grow, to see their town, state and Country grow and change-again for good or bad- they gave all of that up.
Pretty powerful if you ask me.

Jackson reminded me yesterday that there will be Veterans in the Memorial Day parade this coming Monday. It was a good reminder. I have to admit that there have been times in my life that I've been so wrapped up in the fact that I have a three day weekend, a day off, or the fact that I have some smashing BBQ to attend, that I didn't stop and take a moment to remember what this day is for. Now that may seem cold and harsh but it is the truth and the reality of my past Memorial Days.

Having become a mom, a wife and also having three boys, the reality of soldiers and war weighs constantly on my mind. Perhaps because my boys enjoy playing army with their green guys, or maybe because it scares me to death that I could be one of those moms sitting at the parade honoring one of my babies that lost their life for something that I cannot even fathom how intense, having never been in any form of military. It could just be the fact that I am now finally "all grown up" and no longer have worries of boys, zits, Friday night football games, or the likes of it all to concern myself. I am aware and also have the reality of what this world is all about. Through news stories online, on the radio, on TV, all points of communication that discuss the war of today as well as the Wars of the past, and yes it's tragic, and terrifying and again a reality. Both my Grandpas were in the military and lucky for our family they made it home.

I guess as I'm thinking out loud on this virtual paper that it's just good to stop and remember. I guess for me it's good to have a reminder of others that have lost a loved one to wars and that could someday become a part of my own reality. Do I want to face that? Of course not. I'd want to face that as much as I fear dying, naturally even more. But it's there, and again, it's a reality..

You can be sure that on Monday I will have a moment of my own time, a moment to create silence within my own mindset and thankfully remember those that have lost their lives, even though I will not know their names, or where they came from, or how old they were when they died...but what matters is that they are remembered for their sacrifice whether by choice or not. You won't see me reflecting on whether the Wars are valid or not, but instead I will remain focused on remembering people.


So, now that I have THAT off my chest, moving on, here's what's going on this weekend on yet another very busy memorial day weekend. There are graduations going on, BBQs and parades.
For us we have out of town guests from Florida, Brian's cousins, in town this weekend. They stayed at a hotel in the heart of Downtown Chicago last night as well as tonight and we will be catching up with them later this evening. They're in town for a few reasons: One to see us and our boys, two to catch up with a college roommate, and three because our cousin in law (wife) has joined a new firm in Florida that will have her involved in traveling up here on occasion so she wanted to get used to the area on nonlegal time.

Tonight we-meaning Brian and I- will be meeting up with them in Greek Town for dinner and live Greek music overlooking the lights and tall buildings of our Chicago town.

Tomorrow the Five (BDD, Me, and our three) of us will be taking the train into Chicago and then from there a water taxi over to Navy Pier where we'll meet up with them again for a day exploring Navy Pier with the children and sitting down in the beer garden to listen to some live music. As the day draws to a close the five of us along with our cousin and his wife will head back home to our town via the train and from there we plan on introducing them to a delicious version of Chicago Style Pizza, Lou Malantis.

On Memorial Day itself I will wake up early as usual to do my thing and have some time for remembering what this day is all about. I will then prepare my infamous breakfast casserole, breakfast jalapeno burritos and cinnamon rolls. Soon after breakfast we will walk a few blocks to sit and watch the parade while waving our flags and delighting in the expressions on our boys faces as they display glances of pure innocence about what is dancing in front of their eyes.

After the parade we will return home and will meet up with the babysitter that I have hired so that Brian and I may take his cousin and wife to a Cubs game. If you happen to turn on the game, look for us over at the first base line about 6 rows up, or so, give or take. I plan on wearing my favorite color, yellow. That could change though based on how much laundry we manage to get done, which in itself is a WHOLE OTHER STORY.

From there we will leave Wrigley field and head straight to Ohare where we will say our goodbyes to our cousins that are just about 30 years old, and will wish them a safe flight home and a "We'll see you guys over the fourth of July" in Florida farewell.

Even though it is yet again a very busy three day weekend, I for one plan on remembering and honoring.

Welcome To Crustybeef~
A good weekend to all of you!


fiwa said...

yes, we are lucky that because of others we have the luxury to sit and contemplate in peace what memorial day means. I hope you have a great one. I also hope you're going to post the RECIPE for that infamous breakfast casserole? Sounds yummy.


Mo said...

Thank you for the reminder and putting in great words the intent of the holiday.

I hope you have a great weekend with your family. Sounds like a busy one!

abbagirl74 said...

Thanks for reminding me of this special day. I was one of those who was griping about having to work, while everyone else gets a "day off". I will be thinking differently now. Thank you sweetie!

Brad said...

Wow - that's some weekend - sorry I've been such a slacker lately. I'm off for a few more days then back on the 28th - I'll be around more after that. Have fun!

Cheryl said...

I'm another one to thank you for the reminder. Every holiday is so commercialized and we forgot the meaning behind them.

You sound so busy! I hope you and yours have a wonderful time together.

Jon, Katie, Hannah, Calah & Jacob said...

Hey Cuz,
Check out Erin Mann (plauman) blog:
Luv ya!

SOUL: said...

nice post--

and what a weekend you have goin on-- just reading it makes me need a nap! and i just woke up like an hour and a half ago. :))

ahh to be young again.

i hope you have a great rest of the weekend-- enjoy the family-- and have fun!

simonsays said...

Great post E. You are right, we do need to take it all more seriously. Thanks for the reminder.

I am just trying to get all caught up with everyone...I have gotten so behind!

Hope your long weekend has been fun and meaningful.

Hugs. :)

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your blog and reading about the ongoings of your life.

And, I love your music! How can I replicate this wonderful aspect on my blog?

Happy Memorial Day!

window watcher said...

Thanx for remembering them......they deserve it.

Gypsy said...

Good for you Elizabeth for reminding us all what these holidays are really all about. We celebrate Australian and NZ troops on ANZAC DAY which falls on April 25th. It's become a really big deal in latter years and surprisingly more so as the number of surviving soldiers has dwindled to nothing. Now their children, grandchildren and so on march in their place.

Sounds like a great weekend. I'm with Soul...I feel tired just reading about it.

Martha said...

I'm behind on reading blogs...I loved your thoughts on Memorial Day. My dad is a combat veteran, and I say all the time that I think there should be a holiday where none of the veterans (or active duty military) should have to work--but all the rest of the government offices should be open!

Portia said...

Wonderful tribute, Crusty. I agree that the day is to remember the soldiers, not the reasons for all the wars. It comes up in my mind in relation to my boys too, but it also gives me a huge sigh of relief that my husband already served and came home, before I ever met him. I think sometimes he would go back, but I'm so glad we have him here.

Your weekend sounds awesome! I hope you had a blast with the family in town, all the events, yummy food, and even time to yourself:)