Memorial Day: A Time to Honor
Little red, white, and blue flags have begun popping up on front lawns and store fronts. Themed foods are gracing the dessert tables at local grocery stores and all BBQ accoutrements are sold out. Memorial Day weekend is here.
Memorial Day marks the unofficial first day of summer. Men don their seersucker suits, while women wear their best summer whites. The smell of barbecue fills the air, as red, white, and blue drinks and foods are arranged on picnic tables. Fresh vegetables are grilled and hot dogs are a dime a dozen.
Thousands of parade goers will wave small American flags, sing the National Anthem, and salute the soldiers as they march by. Old veterans will stand in the back with a tear in their eyes, remembering the ones they left behind.
As I begin to plan my long-weekend festivities; bike rides along Niagara River, activities with the twins, and Memorial Day Dinner, I can’t help but think that there is more to Memorial Day weekend than another reason for big box stores to make a profit.
Although I enjoy a long-weekend, wearing my seersucker suit, and barbecuing, there is more to Memorial Day. The other aspect, the most important aspect, is honoring this country’s fallen heroes. The men and women who have dedicated their lives to guarding our borders, serving our nation, and protecting us throughout the country.
Since 9/11 Memorial Day means something more than just backyard picnics and an excuse for kids not to go to school. Families who have been through the terrors of war and the scope of emotions are not just celebrating fallen soldiers. They are remembering their husbands, wives fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and friends who fought for our freedom.
For me Memorial Day isn’t about war. There are occasions when debating the significance of war and the impact on our country is acceptable but, for me, Memorial Day is not that day. It is a day where Republicans, Democrats, Liberals etc, should come together in honor of the soldiers who serve and have served. I have always felt that Memorial Day is a holiday all Americans can celebrate peacefully. It does not elicit political, religious, or racial conversation. Rather, it isa time for all Americans to come together and celebrate the men and women who dedicated their lives to serve this country so we can live freely.
On this day show your American pride by waving your flags, thanking those who have served, and remembering those who never made it home. This holiday weekend my family and I will be partaking in the festivities with family dinners, picnics at the beach, and enjoying the warmer weather. On Monday, even for a fleeting moment, I hope that all of you will join me in thanking the individuals who chose to serve in the our country. We are able to celebrate this unofficial gateway to summer thanks to them.
Memorial Day Weekend in Western New York
1. Take a bike ride around our city and enjoy the warmer weather! Bike through Forest Lawn Cemetery and pay your respects to the veterans who selflessly served. The Buffalo Naval Park is another great destination.
2. Visit the local farmers market and buy all your Memorial Day dinner food. Located in beautiful Bidwell Parkway, the Elmwood Village Farmers Market is a producer-only market.
3. Pack a picnic and spend the afternoon enjoying the beginning sounds of summer. Perhaps with a bottle of champagne. Cazenovia Park is hosting a Memorial Day Weekend event with fireworks, food trucks, and a beer garden.
4. The Buffalo Marathon is Sunday, May 24th. Join thousands of spectators as they cheer on the runners. Perhaps it will motivate you to burn off last night’s calories.
5. If live music is what you are looking for, check out Templeton Landing. Their outside patio is perfect for catching the sunset and enjoying a lovely meal.