Memorial Day can also be a time of reflection
Spring ahead! It feels so good to have sunlight past 6 p.m. now. Spring is trying to poke through, and our record-setting snowfall is slowly retreating. Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning to our summer, is just around the corner.
Memorial Day is our annual day of remembering and honoring those who sacrificed their lives for our country. But for many, Memorial Day is a day that is taken for granted. Taken for granted simply because our priorities have changed. Memorial Day is a day off from school or work. Memorial Day makes for a long weekend. Memorial Day is the day for the first cookout and outdoor gathering with friends and family. It’s our gathering with friends and family that we should not take for granted; instead, we should cherish that time together and remember those who went before us.
Memorial Day is a day that was set aside for us, as a nation, to gather and remember. It is a day to remember the brave men and women who served in our nation’s military to fight and protect our freedoms. We place flags at graves, we plant our spring flowers, and we watch the Legion, the VFW and active-duty soldiers walk down Main Street in parade formation. Memorial Day is a day on which our elders reflect and tell us stories of their service to us and our great country to keep us free. I think that the soldiers we honor at the cemetery would choose to serve us again without question. They gladly worked to make our country a better place for the next generation and would give their lives again so that we can live with our freedoms.
So, this Memorial Day, I ask that when visiting a cemetery or a memorial, you not only be thankful for those that sacrificed for your freedom, but take some time and reflect on the life that you live. This time of reflection or cooking out with your family and friends can be used to speak of how you want to be remembered. Even if you’re not a veteran, your life is one that should be remembered.
All too often, people are afraid to discuss death, and I see in our funeral home that people are often not prepared for what is inevitably going to happen to all of us. Memorial Day, the day that we reflect and remember those who have died before us, can be the catalyst for someone to say, “This is how I want to be remembered and memorialized.” Use this national day of reflection to reflect on the lives you’ve touched.
Stephen Gemelli is the general manager and director of Mercadante Funeral Home & Chapel, 370 Plantation St., Worcester. For more information, visit mercadantefuneral.com or call (508) 754-0486.