Memorial Day

Upon recently glancing at my calendar I saw that Memorial Day weekend is upon us! The weather is warm, cookouts are a nightly event and we are finally able to wear our favorite summer clothing and sandals. This also means a busy weekend is ahead of us: parades, services for fallen soldiers and a family bar-be-que. Can’t wait!

Memorial Day parade

To me it’s not Memorial Day without our town parade. The first one was back in 1885, and people have been enjoying it since! I participated in it growing up whether on a float, or marching with my peers for an organization. Now I enjoy being a spectator and admiring the floats, marching bands and all the classic cars!

After the parade is a service in the town park. There is a memorial in which a veteran lays a wreath or flowers down on and the school bands play in the background. Then everyone has a moment of silence and reflects the true meaning of Memorial Day.

Many towns across America have similar traditions. What does your town do?

Services

As mentioned before, we hold a service in our town park for those who have fought for their country. There are also services at your local church. Many chaplains celebrate with a short service at a military graveyard or a local cemetery. It’s nice to know that there are different ways to honor those who have fallen during war, or those who have lost someone from their military unit. That is what Memorial Day is for.

Bar-be-que

Yes, this is perhaps my favorite part of Memorial Day weekend! I know Saturday morning I’ll be putting my fiesta beans in the crock pot, and get ready to grill all weekend long! Plenty of pasta salads, grilled entrees and lots of fresh fruit salad! It’s especially nice when you can enjoy it outside in the sunshine!

This is what Memorial Day weekend is about to me. What is this weekend about to you?

Love One Another A Follow-up to #SelfloveSunday

I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. John 13:34

We often associate this time of the year with Valentine’s Day. For some, the hunt is on for a significant other if they do not have one already. For others, it is time to look within themselves. We know we have to love ourselves before we can love someone else, but what about our neighbor?  Just keep in mind, it is all about love.

Who is your neighbor?

We often ponder the above question. Who is our neighbor? Is it strictly the person next door, or is it people who live around you? Well, your neighbor is anyone you interact with. The woman who is at the grocery store hoping her check doesn’t bounce when buying food; it’s the man driving around in the fancy car; it’s the kid’s playing outside in their tree house. All of these people are your neighbor.

Ways to love your neighbor.

There is no right or wrong way to love your neighbor, but there are multiple ways you can show your love. Some ways are:   

•    Giving Blood – the American Red Cross is always looking for all blood types. Don’t wait for a natural disaster to donate.

•    Say please and thank you and mean it. They go a long way and make people feel good when you use them.

•    Recycle. Whether it is just rinsing out a jar of peanut butter, or using reusable bags, we should all do our part in keeping our community nice. This also means keeping litter off of our streets. If you see some, pick it up! No one enjoys driving down roads and seeing trash along the side of it.

•    Adopt a soldier. Think about if your son or daughter was far away from home – wouldn’t you want them to have a family to visit for the holidays? If you live in a military enriched community, think about having some young recruits over for a Sunday dinner. I’m sure they’d appreciate a home-cooked meal.

•    Volunteer at Vacation Bible School. Parish Giving is a big advocate for VBS! So much so that we have online forms to make those who work and volunteer at the parish lives much easier. We keep you organized so you can focus on educating young minds.

Why should we love our neighbor?

If we want to live in an enriched community, love is always the first step. You need to love yourself and love your neighbor. Once you have done that, volunteer your time (if you have any available) to help deepen the lives around you. Spread the word of loving your neighbor because if you do not, then who will?