I don't know about you, but when I was growing up Memorial Day was the beginning of summer. I wasn't out of school yet, but might as well have been. My family usually had a big barbecue with all my parents' friends and our neighbors. There were kids running everywhere and the adults were enjoying adult beverages and getting the food together. My dad always put the flag out. I guess all the adults knew what that meant but I don't remember us kids paying any attention.
The festivities of Memorial Day weekend continued when I was a young adult. It was still the beginning of summer and there was a big party because we had an extra day off from work.
Then I married a veteran. A veteran who was an on-the-ground soldier in a war. A veteran who was shot and bears the scars. A veteran who knows the costs of war and those who paid it.
Please take a moment on Memorial Day to think about all those who have served in the military, particularly those who did not return from war. Thank a veteran for his or her service. Thank a family of a fallen military service person -- they have a difficult burden to bear.
Remember freedom isn't free and there are people willing to fight for our country and our freedoms so we don't have to.
So that we can enjoy a barbecue at the beginning of summer.