The True Meaning of Memorial Day

by | Jun 5, 2019 | Holidays | 0 comments

A lot of us think of Memorial Day weekend as a time off from work, barbeques, pool parties, or camping trips.  The actual holiday is for remembering fallen soldiers, POW, and deceased veterans who served our country.  I went to visit my son’s family over the holiday weekend and when I flew home, I was reminded about the true meaning of the holiday.

The captain of my flight from Phoenix to Tucson announced before our flight, we had a special passenger on the flight, the remains of a World War (WW) II soldier. The soldier was captured at the beginning of WW II and held prisoner on one of the Philippine Islands in a work camp. The living conditions of any war work camp are nightmare materials: I have had veterans and Holocaust survivors describe them to me. He only survived a few months and was buried in a mass grave with other soldiers.

When we arrived in Tucson, the plane was greeted by fire trucks, policeman, and military personnel.  The fire trucks sprayed the taxing airplane down as part of the procedure for welcoming home a POW. Shortly after landing, the military officials unloaded the casket from the airplane (I did not see it since I was on the other side of the plane).  It was a very sober moment for everyone on the plane, especially the active duty members (about 15 people).  I feel honored to have been a part of the flight and for the reminder of why we celebrate Memorial Day.