Memorial Day & The Beginning of Summer
When I was a kid this holiday weekend signified the beginning of summer.
Memorial Day ( in the US) is a day for all of us Americans to remember the fallen military that have made this country great and to honor those who are living and dead, that fought in wars big and small for the freedom that every person should have.
It is also the time for some fond recollection of a time when school would be wrapping up for summer break, graduation time and celebration for those who were done with school and ready to move on. It was a time of dreams and opportunity. The anticipation for the beginning of summer came with a lot of images.
There would be songs on the radio that would become anthems for that summer and forever trigger those memories for so many years to come. In my younger days we would sing along to the AM radio while cruising in the car (oh for gas to be that low priced again). It was the soundtrack for growing-up. The music of fun and romance.
There was also sun and fun at the water with friends, with towels and “sun-tan” lotion ( I still remember the smell of coco-nut). Just spending time under the sun for the entire day, with cold beer and Frisbees. Taking the long walk down the beaches to find driftwood (among the dried up fish and noisy gulls), and chilling on the shore with wet sand and water hitting at your toes.
As the summer progressed there was much to look forward to. The heart of the baseball season, the 4th of July parades, picnics and fireworks. Traveling up north to send time on in-land lakes fishing , running the boats and sitting by the night-fires. There was a lot of magical times.
Of course I remember them fondly, and yes— a bit more cloudy now I suppose. More of the good than the bad. More of the sounds and smells, of the times that were captured in the adolescent mind I guess. But they were great, and we all knew they wouldn’t last forever so many of us embraced them as much as we could. We spent those lazy days stoking our dreams of fortune and fame ( I was in a rock band back then – imagining that big break that never came). Daring autumn to wait while we took in the moments of memories.
But all of that wouldn’t be possible without the fine men and women who have been part of the armed services during the entire history of the US. Those dedicated people who ask so little and give so much. They allowed some of the rest of us to dream, to embrace the times of freedom and opportunity. Thanks to them, celebrating Memorial Day in America.