Memorial Day Weekend is fast approaching. I’ve done a lot of travel and exploring, particularly within the United States, and during these periods, I’ve seen a lot of different ways of celebrating Memorial Day. Cookouts are very popular, as are parades, and many people see it as a great opportunity to enjoy the weather. Plus, Memorial Day unofficially marks the first day of summer. And you know I’ll take any opportunity I get to grill up some delicious wild-caught Alaskan salmon and cod.
But during the celebration, the picnicking and relaxing, it is important that we stop and think about why we are celebrating. I’ve been to parades where Veterans and servicemen and servicewomen dress in full military uniform. And Memorial Day is especially close to my own heart because my father served in the United States Navy, during which he met my mother. To me, in many ways, Memorial Day celebrations often feel even more patriotic than the Independence Day because we’re not just celebrating our great country: we’re celebrating those people who helped to make and keep it free.
The reason why I love Memorial Day and the celebrations that surround it is because we are truly honoring those who died so that we could enjoy it. Sure, some parts of Memorial Day are a somber reminder of the loss of life of American soldiers. But those soldiers helped make our lives and our freedom here possible. The United States of America is made up of such a wide range of resources both natural and manmade: cities and towns, parks, bodies of water, mountains and valleys, farms and fields. I’ve seen remote parts of Alaska that some Americans may never get a chance to see. But it’s still the same America that our servicemen and servicewomen fought and died to make possible.
This Memorial Day, I encourage you to relax, enjoy the outdoors, and spend time with family and friends. Sure, I’d love for you to join me in celebrating by cooking up some of my delicious wild-caught fish, but more importantly, I’d like to remind you to make the most of your own freedom and liberty by relaxing and enjoying our America that was made possible by our veterans, some of whom never made it back.