Let’s truly honor Memorial Day – not just a BBQ

Let’s truly honor Memorial Day – not just a BBQ

Our nation’s largest Memorial Day event, The National Memorial Day Parade takes place along Constitution Avenue on Monday, May 28, at 2 p.m.

Memorial Day, this year on May 28, should be a lot more than what it has locally become. Regrettably, our Village of Pinecrest has zero events listed on its website and Facebook page. Maybe they’ll eventually get around to posting something but, sadly, even though we have a Veteran’s Park – no sign of anything to honor our military on Memorial Day.

A little bit of history of the holiday and you’ll see why I’m irritated with the lack of attention. As you may know, the Civil War claimed more American lives than any other conflict in our history. Because of the significant loss of soldiers, national cemeteries were established. In the late 1860’s, Americans began holding tributes to the countless fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers.

Then, on May 30, 1866, a nationwide day of remembrance began “for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country.”

So, what happened? Large cities, such as Chicago and Washington, have great parades and many people visit cemeteries to honor those who died for our country, but Miami? Well, the closest national cemetery is in Palm Beach County, but you can visit your local cemetery and bring some small American flags and flowers and honor veterans who rest there.

Also, since there is no parade to be found anywhere near us, when you go to breakfast or lunch over the three-day weekend, and perhaps encounter a gentleman or two wearing veterans caps, go over and thank them – and, if you’re polite and curious, ask them to tell you a memory form their time defending our freedom – like my Grandpa Ted did when he fought valiantly in the South Pacific in World War II.

Now, Grandpa Ted wasn’t too inclined to discuss his war experiences, too sad for him to relive; but, you may find an active or former soldier who is willing to share.

Memorial Day Happenings
So I did a quick search and I see Miami Beach has big plans for Memorial Day again this year, as the city attempts to reshape a holiday weekend, which typically draws tens of thousands of young people to Urban Beach Week. The City plans to spend $250,000 on a concert and another $100,000 on cultural events such as a gospel performance, a celebrity basketball game, and a barbecue contest.

And although they also plan to host a military-themed Air and Sea Show, let’s be honest, this Miami Beach scene is primarily geared toward the young at heart who apparently can better tolerate sitting in their cars for hours on a causeway than I!

So for those of us who prefer a more sedentary approach to celebrating, relax on your couch Sunday night and tune in to watch the PBS broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert dedicated to our men and women in uniform, their families at home, and all those who have given their lives for our country.

Memorial Day is a significant holiday worthy of more than just lighting up the grill. Make it special in your community this year – and perhaps by next year, your community will make it special for you.

About James Field: James is committed to keeping in touch with the Pinecrest community and hopes you welcome his insights on issues affecting Village residents. Please send an e-mail to jfieldjr@gmail.com with questions or comments.


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