Memorial Day has always had a special meaning for me. As a child, on this day (Memorial Day then was always celebrated on May 30) we would drive to Lake Crystal to put flowers on the graves of my mother's mother and father. Following that we always had a family picnic at the local park. I have great memories of those times together.
Now I usually celebrate it by going to Austin with my brother and sister. We put the urn on our parents' graves, attend the flag raising ceremony at the war memorial downtown, watch the very small parade on Main Street, and then go to the cemetery where various service groups dedicate wreaths to the "fallen" -- those whose lives were sacrificed during war times. We always see friends and former neighbors.
On this day, I celebrate my family members who are either now serving our country in the military, or who have served in the past. That list is growing, but now it consists of my son, Hans, Lieutenant Commander, US Navy; my brother, Jerry, retired US Navy; my Uncle Allan, US Navy; cousin Wayne (deceased), US Navy; son-in-law Chad, US Air Force; nephew Keith, US Navy; cousin Pudge (Pat's husband), US Air Force; cousin Charlie (Kari's husband), retired US Air Force; Pete, Rachel's father, US Air Force; Ken, Sarah's father, US Air Force; and last, but not least, Sarah's brother Ryan, US Coast Guard. Isn't that an impressive list?! I am extremely proud of all of them! [If I am missing anyone here, please include them in your comment.]
On this day, I also remember my father and mother, grand parents, and aunts and uncles. It's great that we live in a land that still sets aside a day to commemorate our loved ones.