It was a year ago when I posted my Memorial Day weekend blog, which included this quote:

“Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops, and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well.”
– Jennifer M. Granholm

So how are we doing with that? I mean, treating the living well. If I look around at my family and friends, we’re doing pretty well. Showing love and compassion, helping each other when we can. Laughing and carrying on during the other times.

But this Memorial Day weekend feels different. Instead of talking about the troops who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, the news has been dominated with stories of those who lost their lives while grocery shopping, attending church, teaching in a classroom, or being an elementary school student in a classroom. So how are we doing?

The answer, not well. I just read two news stories this week of threats that were made to local schools by boys who said they had a ‘hit list.’ They had pellet guns, which looked suspiciously like real rifles. Both the boys and guns were taken by law enforcement, and after some evaluations, it was determined there was no ‘real threat.’ Not sure how you determine such a thing, but I’m skeptical. It seems these days there’s a lot of anger and people just don’t know how to manage it. 

*Old person telling story alert.*

Back in my day (the 70’s and 80’s) if kids were angry, they’d just fight. ‘After school at the bleachers!’ would be the rallying cry. But I never saw any actual fights. It seemed by the time school was let out, the angry participants had calmed down and decided it wasn’t worth fighting each other. Probably because they also knew the principal or teachers would punish them if they did fight. Sometimes I’d hear stories that there was a fight, but it never escalated into anything the wasn’t resolved within a day or two. So what happened? I’ve heard a lot of opinions, but no real answers that lead to any solutions.

So this Memorial Day weekend I’ll continue my tradition of putting up the flag in front of our house, cooking some steaks on the grill, and saying a prayer for everyone who lost their lives this past year, both with and without wearing a military uniform. 

Take care of yourselves.

P.S. The number 213 in the header image is the number of mass shooting in the U.S. this year. At least, that’s what it was at the time I wrote this. I pray that number won’t increase before you finish reading.