What it means
By RALPH HARDIN
Evening Times Editor
Happy Memorial Day weekend to everyone. That seems a little weird to say, doesn’t it. I’m hoping you have a good day on a day set aside to remember those who gave their lives in the sercive of our country and in the protection of our freedoms. But I suppose in celebrating our freedoms and happiness with cookouts and family get-togethers we really are honoring them.
I don’t know what Memorial Day means to you. I’ll be spending this weekend out of town in the beautiful scenic highlands of Lee County at my wife’s family’s big family reunion. There will be close to 100 paople there. I’ve been going with her to this deal for more than 30 years.
They used to have it whatever weekend was closest to the Fourth of July, but some of the older folks decided it was too dang hot that time of year, and some of the younger folks dedcided they’d rather spend that weekend with “their” families (that is, like husband, wife, kids rather than the whole bunch) doing their own thing, so it got moved 15 years or so ago to Memorial Day weekend (so it’s possilby 70 degrees,maybe 100 degrees… on and it might rain, but it has worked out every year, except in
See VIEWPOINT, page A9 VIEWPOINT
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2020 when the pandemic shut everything down).
So, like I say, it’s been 30 years since I’ve been involved, and yes many of those folks at the first few are no longer with us, but a whole new generation (or two) have come along, and I guess that old Carter Family tune “Will the Circle be Unbroken” really rings true.
It’ll be an all-you-can-eat country buffet, and we’ll play softball, volleyball, horseshoes, cornhole and whatever else we can come up with. There’s a little pond for folks who want to fish and I’m sure there will be some gospel songs sung, so it’s going to be a good time for one and all.
And that’s my Memorial Day. Yours might look a little like that or maybe you and yours have something else that you do. They call it the “unofficial first day of summer,” bookended by another holiday, Labor Day as the “unofficial last day of summer.”
But I do think it’s important to take a moment at some point in the long weekend to make note in some way about what it means to have a Memorial Day. There are families all across this community and this nation that have lost loved ones who “gave all” in military service. My dad and two of his brothers all served in Vietnam. One of them didn’t make it home.
I’m named after him, so in a way my whole life is a little Memorial Day.
And that’s pretty cool…