Memorial Day: Remembering Those Gone, Celebrating Those Still with Us

The other day my daughter asked me what Memorial Day was, it took me a moment to think about. So online I went to learn: It was originally known as Decoration Day the years after the Civil War to honor and decorate fallen soldiers' graves. It is always observed the last Monday of May and became an official federal holiday in 1971. This year Memorial Day is May 25, 2015.

Memorial Day we commemorate those fallen soldiers who sacrificed their lives and laid aside fear to fight for the greater good: their country, friends and family. But many of us also regard the day as one to remember those family and friends who've gone before us and celebrate those still with us. I love this quote by Terry Pratchett:

“If you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going.”

In remembering those still with us it's important to note where they've been. Over the years of family gatherings I've learned so much from aunts, uncles, grandparents etc. My husband's grandparents (who are still alive and golfing weekly) grew up in Red Lodge/ Washoe area and have shared many stories about growing up during the depression. My husband's grandpa worked Smith coal mine up that way when he was 16, picking rocks out of the coal. Their fortitude through the years molded them into the people they are and they’ve passed on the importance of being a hard worker.

If you find yourself around family or even friends this Memorial Day, take time to talk with them, learn from them and ask them where they've been. We all have a story and journey we've walked. You may find one day they will be gone and you'll wish you'd taken the time to discover their story. Happy Memorial Day to you and yours!

About the author…Rebekah was born and raised in Washington and currently resides in Montana. She is a dance teacher, mother of 2 and creative soul. She enjoys cooking, baking and creating with fabric and paper.