This is a picture of our flag in the entryway to our house. I put it up on Saturday, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Every time I see the flag I am reminded: Oh yeah, this is Memorial Day weekend — we are remembering those who have fallen in defense of the people and ideals of this country, and freedom and democracy everywhere. Among them are most likely people you know.
I could have waited until Monday to put the flag up, but this is Memorial Day WEEKEND, so I decided to make a weekend of it. It’s now Sunday and our flag is flying again. This is good. We need three days for this. Some have been mourning days on end.
Memorial Day has turned into a rather dubious day to remember the dead. Most people think of it as a national holiday to welcome in the summer. It’s Beach Day, Barbecue Day, Say Hello to Summer Day before it is anything solemn. I don’t know who decided on the last Monday in May, but it should have been in February where the weather might match the mood better.
But then again, there’s another way to look at it. Put it on Drag Out the Grill Day because this kind of family celebration is what a soldier’s death bought. And maybe if all we do is have fun, and hardly ever give a thought to the fallen, that might even be okay with them. Don’t fuss over us, I can imagine them saying. A few thoughts and some thankfulness is just fine. We don’t want to remember how we died. Family and celebrating are what we want to remember, too.
So get your flag up and cast a few thoughts of thankfulness out every time you see it. And celebrate summer, and family, and baseball, and apple pie. That’s the way it should be.
There will be no Catch on Monday because of Memorial Day. We will resume our reflections on the story of Gideon on Tuesday. Happy Memorial Day, and it’s okay to make it happy!