Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Day

Memorial Day began after the Civil War to honor the dead soldiers. Originally it was named Decoration Day because to honor the dead soldiers, people decorated their graves with flags, red poppies, and other memorabilia. Today, more people look at Memorial Day as the beginning of summer and head to the beach or have backyard barbecues.

World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.

For me, Memorial Day is the day to specifically remember those who did not survive World War II. My father was a fighter pilot in World War II and participated in the Normandy invasion and the liberation of Belgium. He and my Uncle Bob were the only two original members of their unit to survive. Many of their comrades in arms passed right next to them in the air. Both my father and Uncle Bob could never answer the question of why they survived and others did not. My father died in 2001 and my Uncle Bob died in 2013.

This Monday, I will remember the sacrifices made by my father and Uncle Bob and the rest of their unit. I will not have a barbecue nor will I play at the beach. These men fought to keep Europe and the rest of the world free from Hitler and the death camps. The least we can do now is remember them.