Can Memorial Day Be Both a Day of Remembrance and Celebration?

The stores are also crowded with people preparing for activities to celebrate the beginning of summer. The roads leading to area beaches are backlogged with traffic. Cookouts and family fun activities are planned. The department stores are advertising great Memorial Day sales on summer gear. Our local newspapers have published special sections to list weekend nightlife, music, and arts events.

I read an article recently by one who strongly opposes celebrating summer festivities on a day designed for solemn remembrance. The writer questions, “When did we begin to make this a day of fun?” Since childhood, my family combined the two, visiting the cemetery to pay respects in the morning and continuing the day by celebrating the beginning of summer with family and friends. I agree that we should pay special tribute to those who paid the price for our freedom. We should also support the military families who’ve lost loved ones. Oftentimes, their grief journey encompasses so much more than we recognize, such as moving away from the military families that they have always known.

If you know families or friends who have experienced loss (military and non-military), consider reaching out and offering support this Memorial Day weekend and beyond. A telephone call to say “I’m thinking of you” just might brighten someone’s day.

Since we are all unique individuals, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there is no right or wrong way to remember, honor, and celebrate. Follow your heart and do what feels right for you this Memorial Day weekend. As always, I encourage you to cherish the memories and embrace the future.

Happy Memorial Day!

Dora Carpenter

Sometimes grieving individuals simply need a non-judgmental listening ear to hear their story and share their pain. Maybe hearing that the emotions of grief are natural and normal might ease the burden of grief. Grab a cup of coffee and have a complimentary chat with Dora Carpenter in the Grief to Gratitude Café. Schedule your chat at

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