When I picked out my photos for today’s post, I forgot that it would be my pre-Memorial Day post. So, it’s not as patriotic an outfit as I would have otherwise picked, but at least I am sporting some navy, with hints of red and white.

I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do this Memorial Day weekend, but I do know that I will celebrate it with gratitude and JOY. I’ve said it before, but I think it bears repeating. Yes, Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave their lives for all of us. But, why did they die? Did they die so that we would be sad once a year when we think about them? Or, did they die so that we could continue to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I believe it’s the latter, and I’m quite confident that if the men and women who sacrificed everything could be here, they would tell us to enjoy our pools and barbecues and baseball games. Having known my fair share of military members, I can’t imagine any of them wanting their friends and family to be somber. Rather, I think they want them to live the full life that they fight every day to preserve.  Even more so, those who’ve sacrificed everything for our freedom and for the “American dream” are those who, I think, would most want us to celebrate all the wonderful things that being an American means.

So, please don’t forget why we’re celebrating this weekend. The brave men and women who have passed on deserve our deepest respect and thanks. But, they also deserve recognition in the most American way possible – by enjoying the life they died to protect.