I'm not going to lie, I wasn't always an avid celebrater of Memorial Day. It was an extra day off school and the mark of the beginning of summer. We usually had a cookout and spent time with family and friends. I am not stupid and I know there are sooo many people in America who still have that thought, and I don't blame them, not at all. Not everyone realizes what this day really signifies. Like I said, I didn't give it much of a thought years ago. I always had what I hope was a little more reverance than "average" because of my dad being a Vietnam Veteran and knowing so many people who have fallen, but never did it mean to me what it does to me now. I guess my goal is to spread awareness. That while you're enjoying your picnics, outdoor activities, beers and family time, (none of which are bad!) take just one second to look at those stars and stripes and say thank you.
Yesterday was the FUNdraiser. It turned out great. We had so much fun, I overly enjoyed free beers, people won raffles and silent auctions, and lots of money was raised for Ariana to make sure she is taken care of. It blows my mind how generous people are and how much people care, as well as how much Jonny touched so many people's lives. Really blows my mind (in a good way).
Today was pretty relaxing. Went to my sister in law's for dinner which was delicious and then just spent time with the family. It's good to spend time with them and see them with Ari since we don't get to see them very often.
Tomorrow it is off to Bay Pines, where Jonny's funeral was held, for the Memorial Day ceremony. (Yes, for all those commenters on my post a couple back - I am FULLY aware that Arlington is not the only place where veterans are buried...) I am sure it will be a great ceremony but I am a little nervous. The last time I was there I was being handed a folded flag... it hasn't been that long and is still fresh, but I know that I have the strength to do it and I know it is something I need to do. I won't be visiting Jonny, he's on my living room table at home, (I tried to bring him with us but carrying Ariana onto the plane as well as his heavy box was just a task I wasn't up to) but I do feel I need to visit with some of his fallen comrades, as they are all important.
I hope you all have a great Memorial Day and remember to take a minute and look at those colors and be proud to be American, thankful for the freedoms we have and those who died to give us those freedoms.