It’s Memorial Day. Some people are remembering family members or friends who lost their lives while protecting our country. When you’ve grown up in America (as I have) it can be easy to take for granted our freedoms and rights since they are so much part of our everyday lives. But I want to take a moment to think about that liberty and to appreciate the bravery of those who died for American freedom. Today I’m not putting flags on relatives’ gravesites but our flag is flying out front and my mind is on those who have given so much to this country.
Our family gathered this weekend not to remember someone who had passed but to celebrate the future: a wonderful couple who soon will be married. It was the first time anyone on my side had met my sister’s fiance’s family. It was a lively group of people ranging in age from one to ninety. It was not only a blend of families but also a mix of cultures. Four generations were there. Two languages were spoken. The two people who were the reason for this group to meet are a terrific combination. They have things in common as well as differences, and their differences make them a great fit for each other. They make each other shine. All of us laughed and talked and played. We learned new traditions from other cultures and we blended really well as a group from different countries, backgrounds and histories, who share things in common, too. Among other things, we share a love for this special couple.
I’m sitting here on Memorial Day, right before sunset. My feet are a little tired and my voice is a little sore from all the talking last night. But my heart feels happier after last night’s celebration.
It’s coincidence that we all met on Memorial Day weekend: it was simply the best weekend for everyone. But I find some significance in the timing, too. Everyone there last night has a love for America for what it has given them: for me it’s freedoms I sometimes take for granted. For my almost-in-laws it was a chance for a safer, happier life for their families. Last night we were a motley bunch as well as a united group. The past is an important part of who we are but the future is a big focus, too. The flags dotting my neighborhood are a good reminder to honor the past. And the couple who brought us together last night is a symbol of how exciting the future will be.