Memorable Memorials

2014-2514_BostonMemorialDay_ 007Every May, the same discussions flare up about how we fail to properly spend our Memorial Day holiday honoring those United States Armed Forces members who gave their lives for our country.

Some folks lament that the day is now only about sleeping in or making it to an afternoon barbeque on time.

There is truth in those positions, but let me say Boston does a worthy job giving us an arena to pause and reflect on those who did indeed make that ultimate sacrifice.

And sometimes, the thought really does count.

Flags Upon Flags
A trip to Boston Common on the long holiday weekend brought me to the “Memorial Day Flag Garden.”

Every year in the days leading up to Memorial Day, volunteers from the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund place over 37,000 American flags in the shadow of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the common.

2014-2514_BostonMemorialDay_ 056

The striking display becomes even more impressive once it is understood that each flag represents one Massachusetts citizen who died in service to the country from the Revolutionary War era to the present day.

The expansive tribute compels visitors to more fully grasp the volume of people who gave his or her life for the US—and only from just one state out of 50!

On A Clear Day
2014-2514_BostonMemorialDay_ 132
After a long stretch of cloudy rain-filled days, the skies had finally brightened giving way to warm yet comfortable temperatures. It was an ideal day for locals and tourists alike to be outside enjoying the city.

And yes, people were primarily just socializing, walking, or enjoying a drink or two at the street-side patio bars newly reopened for the season.

But I was genuinely impressed with the number of people who did take time to pause at this tribute in seeming genuine contemplation about what it signified.

Remember
2014-2514_BostonMemorialDay_ 113Whether it is a permanent stone marker in a cemetery or a huge temporary display like the one set up on the common, memorials matter. They remind us to recall, reflect—and appreciate.

And that is very important in giving us perspective when contemplating contemporary issues. In particular, I am alluding to the recent revelations about VA hospitals with extended waiting lists for our living veterans seeking treatment.

Gratitude
So thank you to the MMHF volunteers for helping me recognize and appreciate our fallen heroes. And of course, most importantly, thank you to our courageous citizens who gave their lives so we could live freely and thrive in these United States of America.

* * *

So what about you?
What tributes or memorials have made a deep impression with you? How did you spend your Memorial Day this year?

Linkage
http://www.massmilitaryheroes.org/

Additional Photos
https://www.flickr.com/photos/114987005@N05/sets/72157644862184302/

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Filed under Boston, Hope, Inspiration

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