Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is not the unofficial kick-off to summer. It is a holiday paying tribute to the memory of the countless American soldiers who gave their lives for this country. I do not come from a military family, so I grew up distant from the idea of soldiering. Only as an adult have I come to appreciate that no matter my politics, and no matter my view on war, these men and women who sacrificed their lives or suffered from the trauma and tragedies, emotional and physical, of combat, deserve my respect, understanding and thanks.

As a writer I do not usually include military characters in my books. I thought over my book list as I reflected on Memorial Day and made a discovery. Sarah, the heroine from Fettered Love, had been raised by a single mother. Guess what? Her father died in combat. Sometimes the history of our characters comes to us even after we are done writing their stories. One can say this discovery of mine was contrived. But if it fits and arrives seamlessly in my mind then who's to say.

And that process of discovery gives me one more small connection to the holiday today.

Thank you to all of the American soldiers out there, both living and deceased.


Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks for this post. I think it's important to honor those who gave so much for our country. Memorial Day is about something much more important than a summer barbecue or pool party. It's about remembering and honoring.

Naima Simone said...

Just yesterday my daughter asked me what was Memorial Day. So I agree, Wynter, it is important that we remember why celebrate today, and WHO we celebrate. Michelle, you put it wonderfully. When it comes to these brave men and women who place their lives on the line for us everyday, politics, ideologies and opinions pale in comparison to their service and heart. I have several family members who have served in the service so this post is awesome! Happy Memorial Day!

Michelle Polaris said...

Wynter, Naima,

I try to live my life respecting other people and the very difficult work they do. Life is challenging no matter what, and people who risk their well-being in addition deserve a lot of care and respect.

Dalton Diaz said...

Memorial Day here is agonizing. My son made it home safely from each deployment. While overwhelmingly grateful, I cannot tell you the agony we feel for the families of those who were not so fortunate. That alone is overwhelming, and it's a drop in the bucket compared to getting that knock on the door.