Grief

Don’t Celebrate Memorial Day, Honor It

Don't Celebrate Memorial Day, Honor It www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Bailey Suzio

Monday is so much more than a day off work. I enjoy a BBQ and celebrating my freedom as much as the next patriot, but we have many days to do that. We are blessed to have days like the 4th of July or Thanksgiving dedicated to celebrating and remembering our history and the freedoms we’ve been given. 

Monday simply is not one of them. 

On Monday, we honor the fallen. Those brave men and women who gave their last full measure of devotion are not an excuse to break out the grill or begin wearing white. They deserve so much more than that. 

As a military spouse, I cringe at the years Memorial Day passed as simply a holiday. I cringe about the time I wished someone a “Happy Memorial Day” as I waited in line, armed with hot dogs and hamburgers. There is nothing happy about a day commemorating the dead. 

We can and should be proud of their sacrifice. We should honor and support their families members left behind. We should strive to make sure that we raise children as honorable as those who are willing to give their all for others. We must keep their stories alive.

I now have seen the deep cost that military families have paid. Even in times of peace, there is inherent danger in being a military member. During war time, that pain is ever present. I’ve held children who have lost their father. I’ve stood in Arlington and surveyed the thousands upon thousands of graves. I have wept at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and gazed upon the oil still drifting up from Pearl Harbor and wondered how the families of those who fell, who are entombed in sunken ships they served in, survived their grief. 

I have seen the deep pain this day was built to commemorate, and I ache when it is casually overlooked in favor of a celebration of the beginning of summer. 

Memorial Day is not just about the freedom we’ve been given but about the high, high price it has been bought at. It is a day to stop, survey the beauty, and recognize the cost. 

So please, this Memorial Day, stop and pass down the legacy of the fallen. I encourage you to come alongside those in grief. Find a way to support Gold Star Families. Folds of Honor is an amazing organization and I’ve seen firsthand the way they’ve helped the widows and orphans whose lives bear the mark of our freedoms. 

Tell your children what and why Monday is a day off work. Savor the time you have as a family and do something together to serve. Lay wreaths on graves. Pray together for those grieving. Share about the fallen. Find a way to remember the day for what it is and to honor those who have paid the ultimate cost. 

For information on Folds of Honor, click here. 

About the author

Bailey Suzio

Bailey Suzio’s journey started out in Michigan, where she grew up as the oldest of 10 (yes, ten) children, and has led her to Hawaii with her husband and their two dogs. She has greatly enjoyed this opportunity to explore the history and culture of the Hawaiian islands. In addition to her love for the Lord and her family, her great passions are coffee and collecting an exorbitant amount of books. Bailey has spent the last few years teaching and working with a local church. She writes at http://thethinplace.net/ about her life, faith, and infertility journey.

16 Comments

  • I will be checking into Folds of Honor. I love the wreath project for soldiers at Christmas, so this would be a great summer project for me. Thanks for the reminder!

  • I imagine it is frustrating to have Memorial Day really mean something for your family when the rest of the world overlooks the true meaning and sees it as a vacation day. I guess the only way I can try to relate with the feeling is to remember seeing everyone posting fuc pics with their family for the holidays the December my mother died. But I know it is still not the same. I do think we should do more to make children understand the reason behind the holiday so that they grow up with a respect for those who have given their lives and the families that have suffered.

  • I could not agree more with you. It’s called Memorial day for a reason. It would be nice to teach our kids why we’re honoring that day too, so that they can be aware of the sacrifices that were made by these soldiers to that they can live a free life today.

  • I think this is very well said. We often forget the reason for this day and it’s important that we remind ourselves and our families too, why we have such a day.

  • So beautifully well said. It’s Memorial Day for a reason. While we don’t have a Memorial Day here in Canada we have other days and our family remembers on those days as well as many others.

  • I love your post and the conviction and emotion you wrote it with. You are absolutely right – Memorial Day is a day for remembrance – and we should all make it our duty to honor and share about the ultimate sacrifices so many have made for our freedom. <3

  • This was a great reminder. I was just wondering this morning what the difference is between the 4th of July and Memorial day. Now, I have a better understanding. Thank you.

  • This is an important post. I don’t really have any experience with the military; my husband does but well before I knew him. I can’t say that I can relate personally to anything you have expressed here, but I hear you. There are so many people who sacrifice so much by serving in the military, some with their very lives, and some in less extreme but significant ways. I can’t say that I am happy with the government right now or with *all* of the things the military has done, but that doesn’t mean I can’t respect and honor the individuals who have sacrificed so much; I have seen friends, one very close friend in particular, come home changed from service and although I only have an outsider’s perspective on their sacrifice, I can see it took a lot of bravery. I live with PTSD so my sympathies go out to the families and people affected by that as well as those who have lost their loved ones.
    I’m sharing your post today on Memorial Day. I also write a blog about living and parenting with PTSD and I have a blog-share open right now (which converts to a link archive when it closes) and the current theme is “celebrations.” If you read the description, it doesn’t only mean the typical connotation of that word; I think this post could be a truly meaningful contribution and I would like to invite you to add it. Even if you don’t, thank you for taking the time to write this out. bettysbattleground.com Off-Fridays Week 2

  • Well said Bailey. So much is being taken away from the real reason and thoughtful meaning of Memorial Day.

  • Thank you for writing this post. I know what the day is supposed to represent but I’ve never really thought about it the way you talk about it here.