This Monday, May 25th, marks the U.S. holiday of Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor our veterans, especially those who have given their lives in service to their country. This day also marks the “unofficial” start to summer, and gives many an excuse to gather with friends and family, picnic, have a day off from work, and just enjoy the weather and the day.
When I was growing up, much of Memorial weekend was spent travelling to family cemeteries and “decorating” graves with flowers, either plastic, fresh cut, or in pots. (This weekend also marked the official “proper” date where it was acceptable to begin wearing white pants and shoes, though that little fashion rule has been greatly relaxed since!)
Of course, this year is a little different. Many of the usual celebrations are cancelled this year, and many of the services honoring veterans; i.e. parades, speeches, ceremonial laying of flowers and flags; are being done as closed, recorded events that will be televised for the public later.
While we are dealing with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still ways to honor our fallen veterans and have an enjoyable holiday. We can still visit cemeteries, as long as we follow social distancing. A number of communities are having virtual events where we can watch and participate. Naturally, of course, we can still cookout, overeat, and play with sparklers and roast marshmallows in the comfort of our backyards.
My workplace, which has been open without stop during the current crisis, is closed for the day, and I may actually find time to put my feet up while the guys man the smoker. When I started writing this, I had a berry cobbler in the oven, and spent much of yesterday prepping food, so it will be good to relax. I’ve already begun pulling patriotic decorations out of their storage bins in the basement, and the house will be festive with red, white, and blue from now until after Independence Day.
While things are a little different this year, I like to think we’re starting to get back to normal, or at least, the new normal. While we cautiously wear masks whenever we go out now, at least we can go out and run errands, even visit a restaurant. And this holiday gives us just a little bit more “normal” to celebrate, and enjoy.
Happy Memorial Day everyone!