Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day as a Military Spouse

    Memorial Day is something that can be conflicting for many military spouses. It is a day to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and those people could be our own spouses one day. We could be those looking at a white marble headstone in the pictures shared all over the internet. 

    Is that a scary thought? Yes, it is my worst nightmare. 

    Which I think is why so many military spouses become a bitter and angry to those who do not understand the true meaning of what the day is.

    Before I met Brandon, I honestly didn't pay much attention to Memorial Day. I was not personally affected by any recent war and didn't know anyone who was. I felt 9/11 more personal since I knew people who perished and knew their families. 

    But the people who lost their lives for my freedom had no idea who I was. They didn't know the billions of people they fought and died for. This thought hit me like a ton of bricks.

....and then the bitterness and anger sunk in.

    You can get some awesome sales on memorial day. You are informed about this on TV, online, instagram, etc. I love a good sale and business love to make money. What better way to make money than have people come out to your stores during a federal holiday weekend? 

    It is not so much the sales that made me sad, corporations will take advantage of any chance to make a buck. The people who didn't seem to care what the weekend meant and didn't bother to look deeper are what bothered me the most. 
    But then I myself looked a little bit deeper.

    In, 1945 there were over 12 million men and women serving in the military (Source: The National WWII Museum)

    Today, there is a little over 1 million active duty military members, with the numbers going down every month. (Source: Department of Defense)

   Less than 1% of the United States population is actively serving in the military. The exposure to military members and military life in general is something most people do not experience on a daily or even a yearly basis. 

  Take of that information what you will, I feel that it shows a reason as to why so many people look forward to this weekend full of barbecues and poolside fun. 

  In a way, its become what Christmas has become to many people in the United States. It has been commercialized, or it has almost no meaning at all other than spending money and throwing parties.

  It is our job not to shame or show anger toward those who don't show much respect for this day. Education is the best way to bring an awareness and respect toward this day. This can be as simple as sharing a brief history about memorial day from a reputable website on your social media or speaking to your family and friends about how important this day is.

  Those who give the ultimate sacrifice deserve respect everyday but especially on this day. It is my hope that Americans revive their appreciation for their fallen citizens. 

   Even just a moment to remember and reflect on their service, shows appreciation and respect. Both of those things are often lacking in day to day life.


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