Reflections on Memorial Day

Kathy Reed

I grew up watching my mother and her sister bring flowers to their parents’ graves every Memorial Day. It was just something they did. As I grew older, I of course began to realize the day was meant to honor our fallen men and women who had died in service to their country.

Memorial Day meant something special. It was a time of reflection, memory and appreciation; a few moments of quiet to think about those who had gone before us.

Today, Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of the summer — a three-day weekend to spend having some fun, whether that means firing up the grill, taking the kids on a picnic, heading to your favorite campground or even taking advantage of the numerous sales meant to lure us to the shopping districts and malls.

The fact that Coupeville holds one of the few Memorial Day parades in the state speaks volumes to the character of the folks here on Whidbey Island. We can enjoy our time off and make the parade a family outing and a day of fun, but we recognize the reason and the meaning behind the celebration and pay homage to the people who have sacrificed to make it possible for us to celebrate.

Thanks to the community of Coupeville for holding onto a tradition. Thanks to volunteers and members of veterans’ organizations who will spend part of their weekend placing flags along our streets and on the graves of those who have served our country. And thanks to those who will spend time organizing, participating and attending services on Memorial Day.

It’s a great weekend to celebrate — let’s just remember why.

-Kathy Reed, editor