I am not sure about the rest of the readers here on this blog, but I do not make the connection of Memorial Day and the death of my children. I was visiting my mom this past weekend and she kept asking me how my wife and I were doing with Memorial Day. I thought it was kind of a weird question until she told me that she had been thinking about Katie and Noah a lot. I told her that I have always attributed Memorial Day to the loss of service members and that I really didn’t feel much of anything regarding Memorial Day and the death of Katie and Noah.
How does everyone else feel about Memorial Day and the connection to the death your child? Did you spend time on this day (more so than others) thinking about them? Did you visit the cemetery and place flowers?
Sadly, Memorial Day has gone from being the beginning of our Northern summer and a time to honor those who serve to protect me, to a day of sadness. My son was killed on Memorial Day 2007. Perhaps someday I will want to honor Paul as my fallen hero on Memorial Day, but not yet – too much pain right now.
I’m a mother, not a dad, but I read your page a lot. I found it hoping to help my fiance. I hope it’s okay that I’m posting….
Memorial Day is a bittersweet day for me. I’m active duty Navy, and the first friend I made after boot camp was killed 3 years ago, on Memorial Day. While most of the day was spent thinking of him and his family, I did think about my babies a lot. I don’t really associate their deaths with this day, but I think their deaths helped me to understand a little better what my friend’s parents are feeling and going through. Obviously the ways we lost our children were completely different, but the emptiness they both leave behind are quite the same.
On Memorial Day, I wanted them to know that I remembered their son. The way he blessed this world with his presence and his silly antics. That, even in his death, he is still very much their son. My own loss showed me that remembering is important…because one of the worst feelings after losing a child is feeling like the world forgot.
The only connection I have is that this is another “first” for me and my family. Other than being the first Memorial day without Colin, the holiday is more about honoring my Grandfather’s service in WWII and all the other service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
I did think about my son more on this day, he has only been gone for ten months. He too was doing a duty for his city as a FDNY EMT, so yes, I feel he is like me, a veteran. On Memorial Day I have always thought about my brothers and sisters who have served, that includes Firefighters and Law Enforcement.
You are 100% right. Although the “holiday” was first called Decoration Day to honor the fallen of the Civil War, it was extended after the first world war to include all those who sacrificed their lives for their country in a time of war.
Make no mistake about it; for the men and women who are charged with protecting and serving the greater population at home, the sacrifices they make are no less tragic…nor less honorable. My wife and I are Navy Vets and proud of it. But we also know that those who serve our country by protecting us as civilians should be proudly and loudly included in the tributes that go on around the country.
My deepest sympathies on your loss.
I agree with John Dobbs, no connection whatsoever. But I noted something interesting in what you said…”I have always attributed Memorial Day to the loss of service members”… I bet your mother does too but that she concentrated on the “loss” rather than the “service member”, an understandable emotion given the situation.
The sad thing is that there aren’t too many Americans out there concentrating on the “loss of a service member” meaning of Memorial Day anymore…and the numbers dwindle with each successive generation.
My two cents.
I did not associate the death of my son Charlie with what Memorial Day symbolizes for our veterans. I did associate it with being a beautiful day outside and the opening of our local pool with Charlie not being with me to enjoy the fun and sun. Here in Chicago it seems as if Memorial Day actually kicked off the start of good weather and summer. Charlie’s favorite season.
No connection at all.