Coming from a very small, rural community and having a family with history of military service (my Dad was a Drill Instructor in the Army during the Vietnam War, and my Grandpa was in the Navy during WWII), I was taught from a fairly young age that Memorial Day was a day to honor those who died while in service to our country and allowed us the freedoms we are so blessed to have. When I was growing up, I remember our family had a tradition of taking flowers to the cemetery on Memorial Day for the graves of our deceased relatives. In particular, I remember my Grandma replacing the small American flags on the graves of each man in our family who had served our country in the military. This is something she still does to this day (at the age of 80), on both Memorial and Veteran's Day. While the time spent with family and friends a great way to kick off the summer months, Memorial Day has always been more to me than picnics and family get togethers. As I have gotten older, though, I grow even more grateful towards those who sacrificed their lives to serve our country and who have fought for the priviledges we have today as Americans. We are tremendously blessed as a result of your unwavering service! As you celebrate this Memorial Day, we encourage you to take a moment and think about and honor all of those who have gone before you while defending our country. To the family members of those who have lost a loved one while serving our country, our thoughts and prayers are with you, as you honor the sacrifice your loved one has made for the freedom of us all.
Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.