Memorial Day. The beginning of summer. Picnics. Brat fests and beer. (Okay, in the Midwest.) But I can never forget the reason for the title.
I’m all on board about loving holidays and relaxing with friends and family. But I have to confess that, in some way, this is my least favorite holiday, given that it is in memory of so much suffering and sacrifice. But because of that, I also think it’s our most important holiday. Every Memorial Day I take some time by myself to honor those who have served our country–male, female, human, canine.
My heartfelt thank you to those of you who serve; I am of the opinion that we don’t begin to do enough for veterans and the families of those who have died in wars. If you’ve been in the service, please write in and tell us whatever you’d like us to hear. And if you can, please contribute to one of the many organizations that support veterans. This year I’m going to send money to a memorial for Women in the Military. No surprise they’ve never gotten the acknowledgement that they deserve.
Here, by the way, is an interesting article about the history of Memorial Day, including some information about dogs in the military. I’ve written two other posts about dogs in the military that you also might find interesting, Memorial Day and Dogs in War in 2014 and a Well Deserved Honor for Military Dogs last year, in 2018.
MEANWHILE, back on the farm: The garden is glowing, although we won’t be enjoying a BBQ outside today, based on the dark sky and weather predictions of rain. More rain. Lots of rain. We’ve had so much rain already that we must be getting close to flooding again, but it sure has been nice not to have to water the plants I’ve added to the garden.
Nellie has been loving our being outside a lot. She wanted head scratches, I wanted a photo. Guess who got more of what she wanted?
Friday Maggie and I had two great herding lessons from a top handler, Faansie Basson. We have a lot to work on . . . no surprise there.
Here’s a portrait of some of the sheep we worked. I thought this ewe had such a lovely face.
I hope you have, or have had, a lovely day, full of friendship and gratitude. Let’s make it an entire week of that, what could be better than that?
Jodi Grzeczka says
Turns out, I had no plans yesterday, but I really relished the downtime. I’d worked a full, five day week, spent Saturday at my 2nd job at a pet supply store, and Sunday, a full day with a group that makes charity quilts. Yesterday, I worked on my house, AND spent some time sewing my own project. All of this while listening to veteran stories, watching/listening to Memorial Day events. Even caught up a little with my neighbor, discussing her husband’s PTSD, and how he copes. I felt that those activities and prayer were some of the best ways to observe Memorial Day.
Adrienne K. says
Thank you for this thoughtful post. I feel as you do about the Memorial Day holiday, it is serious and somber. I am so thankful for all those who have served and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order for us to live in the best country on the planet. My husband and I try to do our part by being contributors to veteran organizations and supporting our troops. Because of these brave souls I get to live in a beautiful place here in Maine, share my life with my sweet poodle Zasu and enjoy all that nature provides.
Monika, Sam & Elsa says
Bless you for your thoughts and intentions on Memorial Day. I hope there are more like you who share in that sentiment rather than wanting to save 20% off a new mattress on a day off. With a nephew serving in Egypt currently and a niece and her husband who served (and came home thankfully) I have a special place in my [naturalized] heart for the veterans in this country. ❤️
Kay East says
Thank you, Patricia, for your sincere thoughts about Memorial Day. It is a more somber day for us too, remembering those who gave everything serving for our freedoms.
Your spring pictures are delightful!
Blessings on you, your human and fur family!
Ellen Olander says
Thank you for making a donation to the Women in Military Service memorial. My late mother, an Aunt & I were all in the military & we were contributors to the memorial from the beginning. We were also there at the dedication in 1997. Women have always served this country, volunteering & even disguising themselves as men to serve. As in most aspects of this country lately, women military members are ignored, abused, denigrated by many. Thank you again for caring enough, but then you care about animals so much it comes as no surprise what a great heart you have!!
USAF – what seems a million years ago…
And I totally agree. More than any other emotion, Memorial Day makes my heart heavy.
My husband is a retired veteran. Our own government does not even treat the veterans the way they should be treated. It is thank you for giving your life, now go screw yourself. So it is hard for the people to know that they should be reaching out where they can and doing something. Do you know we give more to other countries to help them with everything (even when they hate us) than we do to help our homeless veterans (yes some of them do not want help but it is nice to at least ask them) and our veteran population with things like medical, etc. I try to give money to help the dogs that we take over to other countries and then when their service is done, we leave them there. There are organizations that raise money to bring them home and sometimes reunite them with their old military handlers. That would be interesting to read about so people were aware of that situation.
Sally Wallach says
Thank you for the best Memorial Day post I’ve ever seen. And, the ewe is lovely. She looks exactly like one if my favorites, who was named Sweet Virginia.
What a thoughtful day of giving Jodi, good for you.
Our warmest wishes to your nephew, and gratitude to your niece and nephew. Thanks for writing in Monika.
Oh, thank you so much Ellen for the comments about the memorial and the service of women, for centuries, in the military. I am always amazed at the women who disguised themselves as men in order to fight. I can not imagine that level of dedication and guts. It’s an honor to contribute to the memorial, I’ll think of you, your mother and aunt as I continue to do so.
Chris, it makes me crazy how little we do for veterans, and I don’t have a husband who served. And now I hear that 200,000 applications to the VA are going to be tossed? I am not especially knowledgeable about this topic, but I feel strongly that I should be, so I’ll continue to read up and speak up about it, because, well. . . Good grief, how could one not?
Jann Becker says
Glad you had a good holiday; I don’t know if “Happy Memorial Day” is appropriate or should it be “Thoughtful?”
My own memories are of opening up the Minnesota lake cottage and the first swim in water nowhere near ready for summer; Mom made us come out when our lips turned blue. Dad served in WWII but didn’t want to talk about it much.
That proverbial black sheep is pretty cute, too.
Thank you for your thoughtful post. I too feel a heavier heart on the Memorial Day holiday. I love to see all the flags flying, especially in the cemeteries. I not only remember the veterans, but all my family that have past on, many who served our country via enlistment and the draft. I am of the belief that we should have all had to do a year of some type of service in the benefit of our country, not just in the arm services, but for all walks of life. Just a thought. The sheep are lovely.
Chris from Boise says
I like Jann’s salutation of “Thoughtful Memorial Day”. And I agree with lak that our country would be better if we all did a service year for our country. It might knit us back together a bit, as the draft did when it threw people from all backgrounds together.
In the community I grew up in, on Memorial Day we remembered all our dead, not only soldiers. It was the day people got together, tidied graves, put flowers and flags in cemeteries, and then ate big picnics while reminiscing. Veteran’s Day honored all those who went to war. My husband, a veteran, prefers to let both days slide past unacknowledged.
On a brighter note, the sheep are lovely and Nelly is gorgeous – as is the sun, at last!
Loved your post, Trisha. I’ve always been torn between celebrating and being so deeply thankful for our veterans and those out there protecting us.. It was nice to hear from someone in the same place.
Loved your sweet ewe photo. Those eyes and ears are too much.
Any day to get together with loved ones or get some alone time is good. But I agree that Memorial Day is a little somber, and should be since we are remembering those who served and gave so that we may have. I did not serve, nor my immediate family. My husband’s father served in WWII. My husband has some photos… I will remember, and I will hope that all will remember so history does not keep repeating…and our loss of loved ones due to war stops repeating. May our military men and women’s service evolve to care, as opposed to fighting. Thank you to these dedicated people. On another note….sheep seem cool!
Melanie Hawkes says
It was Anzac Day in Australia in April and this weekend we have WA Day. I think it is important to have a day to pause and reflect on the sacrifices of others and appreciate that I live in the “Lucky Country”. But I also appreciate this long weekend with no plans except bowen therapy for my dog on Monday afternoon!