Memorial Day weekend is here! Charge up the grills, invite friends and family to start the summer season off right. Fly the flag, set the tables and have fun! But don’t forget what this day is really all about.
Being a military brat, this day strikes close to home. The traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day clouded by the vacations, store sales and picnics. At many cemeteries, the graves of the Americas sons and daughters are increasingly ignored, or even neglected. Most people no longer remember to fly the flag, the symbol afforded to us by the greatest sacrifice of fallen patriots. Some people, mistakenly, think this day is for honoring any and all the dead, and not just for those who have fallen in service to our country. All I ask is that you take one minute out of one day to remember in silence all those who have gone before so that you may enjoy the freedoms and liberty that is often forgotten. It comes at a heavy price.
I know that on this day, my thoughts, prayers and tears will honor a two particular graves in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. One grave is behind the tomb of the unknown soldier, a union General who I am descended from and the second is a grave that sits on a small knoll overlooking the pentagon. There, among the garden of stones, is where a decorated Lieutenant-Colonel rests. To America, he is a fallen son. To me, he is my hero and father.
You probably are wondering what all this has to do with food. As for my family, we celebrated life’s moments, memories, and even some disappointments with a great meal. Whether it was the celebration of a new child, the expansion of a family by marriage, or the loss of a loved one, food would never be too far away. So on this Memorial Day, I will probably light up the grill, like many others, and make a great meal. When I sit down, I will remember what this day is truly about and how fortunate I am to have food before me. I will savor every delicious bite. After all, liberty and freedom never tasted so sweet.