Today I planted flowers and then we went to a cookout with Joe's side of the family. The flowers are beautiful and the cookout was fun. But that's not what Memorial Day is about. It's different for our generation. Even though our country is currently at war, we don't feel it like American's felt Vietnam and WWII. We don't visibly mourn for our fallen soldiers like our grandparents do.
Five or six years ago, Joe and I went to visit my grandparents over Memorial Day weekend. My paternal grandmother and my maternal grandfather are living and their homes are about 20 minutes apart. Each of them wanted us to go to the cemetery with them. We decorated about 30 graves between the two grandparents and heard many stories of people who had been gone longer than I've been alive. I still remember my grandpa telling me about the grave of a woman and her infant son. They both died during the baby's birth while the husband was away in WWII. Grandpa said that the husband never recovered from the loss and never married again. My grandpa was decorating with crepe paper roses that my mom and aunts had made. This was a tradition from their childhood.
Late today, I scrambled to find an activity for the boys to do in celebration of Memorial Day, but the stars and stripes crafts just didn't seem right. There's an important conversation that needs to go along with them.