Monday, May 25, 2009

Summer's "Opening Weekend"

Officially, summer here in the Northern Hemisphere is still almost a month away, but in the US, Memorial Day weekend is traditionally considered "Opening Weekend" to the summer season. Warmer weather is (usually) upon us, backyard barbecues fill the air with their wonderful aromas, families gather to talk and laugh and play, and we remember the many men and women who have given their lives in service to our great nation and the rest of the world.

Growing up, I remember participating in local Memorial day parades, complete with marching bands, fire engines, veterans groups, Shriner motorcyclists, local officials, and of course the clowns and jugglers and other entertainment. The first carnivals usually rolled into town for that weekend, ferris wheels appearing overnight above the tree tops, filling the evening air with music and laughter of kids (like me) enjoying the tilt-a-whirl and bumper cars, trying to win that super-sized stuffed animal, and of course, gorging ourselves on cotton candy and peanuts and other goodies.

I also grew up across the street from a large cemetary, and every Memorial day there was a beautiful commemorative ceremony that took place near the eternal flame which burned near the entrance to the cemetary. For days before the ceremony, family members of the dead who were buried there would busy themselves cleaning the resting places of those they had lost to combat, planting brightly colored red, white and blue blooms at the headstones, or adorning them with patriotic wreaths and crosses and ribbons and American Flags. By the morning of the holdiay itself, there was hardly a place in the cemetary that you could look and not see a flag or wreath creating a veritable sea of color. It was a day for remembering, a day to listen to parents and grandparents reminiscing about World War I and II, the Korean war, and because I grew up during the Viet Nam era, being very aware of the boys - our brothers, our neighbors, our friends, who were fighting to keep the world free.

I'm alot older now, and unfortunately there have been and continue to be more wars, and more lives lost, and more families who have lost their children, spouses, parents, aunts, uncles and dear friends so that the bell of freedom can continue to ring. Whether you agree with our involvements in wars throughout the years or not, I hope you will take a moment today to remember everyone, civilian or military, who has simply "done their job", followed their orders, risked their lives, made a difference. And even tho this is a US holiday, reflect on the lives that have been given by brave men and women from countries the world over who have done the same.

Whether you do it by placing a wreath on a grave, quietly saying a prayer of thanks, or even just remembering to appreciate the fact that you live in a country where you can have those barbecues, enjoy those carnivals, watch those parades, and freely enjoy the opportunity to play and have fun with family and friends... remember... because memories is what Memorial Day is about. Don't let this holiday go the way of so many other holidays that have lost their true meaning. By all means, enjoy the extra day off if you're fortunate enough to have a holiday, visit with your family and friends, spend some time doing something fun or nothing at all... but, please... remember.

I hope you enjoyed these patriotic themed goodies that are making their appearance here today. Thanks to the following Etsy shop for providing such lovely items!

Plastic Canvas 4th of July Picnic Basket - lorkey1981
Americana Pine Cone Bowl Fillers - CountryByTheBumpkins
Red White and Blue Sky and Candle Patriotic Memorial ACEO - buildersstudio
Americana Decorative Pillow - PrimitiveJunkie
recycled Diet Pepsi 'green' earrings -KimTetmeyerJewelry
4th of July Anklet - KimNettieDesigns
Bookmark -- Red, White, Blue, Heart -SuziesArmoire
Red and White and Blue Coasters - bprdesigns


Brandy said...

Beautiful blog entry! What a great read! Thank you so much for featuring my Bowl fillers!

Christie Cottage said...

The bowl fillers from are cute! grat use of pine cones too!

I blogged about Memorial Day too!

nomadcraftsetc said...

The red, white and blue pinecones are darling! What an amazing read! Thanks so much, I really enjoyed it!

Linda said...

You've won an award and can pick it up on my blog at

Linda B

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