Welcome to Mindful Monday! Each week I try to self-discover new things about myself. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to.
Because it is Memorial Day here in America today, I want to talk about having an “Attitude of Gratitude.” By the way, do you really know what Memorial Day is all about?
Memorial Day is more than just a day where we relax, barbecue, and enjoy time with friends and family. It is more than just a long weekend with three or four days off from work. Memorial Day is special.
This should be a serious day for Americans. It is the day of remembrance for all the brave men and women who died serving in our armed forces.
When I was a young girl, it was called Decoration Day. We used to decorate our front yards in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with tiny American flags. As kids, we marched up and down the sidewalks of the city playing like we were soldiers marching. We used to play war, and play at being the one who died mimicking the war movies we watched on television in black and white.
The name, Decoration Day, came about after the Civil War as a way to honor the soldiers who died as Union or Confederate Soldiers. However, it was not until after World War II that the holiday became important to Americans. By 1967, it had been named “Memorial Day.”
This was the day, every year, I accompanied my father and step-mother to the cemetery to lay wreaths on the graves of her deceased family members. I hated this as a kid! I did not know those people and could not understand the fixation with death that my family seemed to have. I thought it was horrendous!
Little did I know, even though I hated going to pay my respects to people who were long gone, I was learning a valuable lesson. The lesson was gratitude. I found out that as an American, I was lucky to have people fight for our American ideals, because those same ideals would come to mean something special to me as an adult, and as a wife, a mother, and a grandmother.
You see, my grandfather was born in Russia and came to America as a young child. He became an American and served in World War I. His son, my father, served in World War II and the Korean War. His son, my brother, served in the Vietnam War. Not to be outdone by my ancestors, I enlisted in the Air Force and served four years during a time when peace was still a dream. I felt like it was my duty to serve Americans and give back to them, some of what they lost for me. It was the least I could do.
Today I honor the men and women who died serving in the American Armed Forces. Thank you for the ultimate sacrifices made so that generations of Americans could thrive and grow. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Image from Wikipedia: The gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery are decorated by U.S. flags on Memorial Day weekend.
So tell me… What are you mindful about this week?
Remember, this is not a challenge. This is an offering of support. If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making. If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary. My main objective here is to give and get support to become more mindful of the things I take for granted in my life.
Thank you for all the fabulous blog posts I am seeing in our WordPress community about mindfulness. It is a joy to see so many of you sharing your mindful goals. Thank you for enriching my life with your experiences, and thank you so much for joining me in my pursuit of becoming more mindful.