This weekend is the unofficial start of summer. Millions of Americans will be on the roads and in the air for short vacations and beach trips. Others will be partaking of savings at sales in stores, both brick and online. There will be boating, grilling and hiking all over the country. Friday afternoon will kick off the three-day weekend, culminating with Memorial Day.

Somewhat lost in all the aforementioned festivities, or marginalized altogether is the actual meaning of the day. Many are confused by it. I’ve actually heard news commentators confusing Memorial Day with Veterans Day. Memorial Day isn’t about those brave men and women in uniform today; that would be Armed Forces Day, a week ago. It’s not about those who served in the military in the past; that’s Veterans Day in November.

Memorial Day is the day we commemorate those who lost their lives in the service of their country. In truth, all of these men, both past and present, should be honored every day, not just one day a year. That’s just my opinion. These men all stood up, raised their right hands and swore to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic”. Memorial Day honors those who died upholding that oath, thus protecting our rights established in the Constitution of the United States.

Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do the sales, the BBQ’s or any of the other things. I believe we should not forget those who  gave everything so that we have our fun. Many churches will be having memorials Sunday and cemetaries across the nation will be honoring our lost heroes on Monday. They are not very hard to find. It is an excellent learning experience for children. Why not sit down with an older child and read the Constitution, explaining that this is what those we commemorate fought and died for. What could be wrong with showing your child the rights they have.