Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May.[1] Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.[2] Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. (Wikipedia)

Whether you are having a BBQ or visiting the cemetery, today is a day for honoring the lives of those we have lost to war. Growing up as a child, I remember my mother telling me that the lives of those we lose should be celebrated, not just mourned. We feel their loss always in our hearts, and sometimes very acutely even after much time has passed, but it is the shared moments and memories that we cherish and revisit in our minds.

In my life, I have experienced loss and grief. So far, none of it can be attributed to war. I know as Jeff and I embark upon this new journey of Navy life that this will surely change. Today reminds me to cherish the time I have with the people in my life, and those who will soon enter into it.

Spend today with your friends and kin, civilian or military. Be grateful for those still with you, and remember those who are no longer with us. Honor the friends and family members who have lost loved ones to war, as well. Like my mother always said, "Don't mourn me when I'm gone, throw a party!" Cherish your memories, and the celebrate lives of the people who helped make them.

To visit a national military cemetery in San Diego, visit the websites for the Fort Rosecranz and Miramar locations, which are both open for Memorial Day.

P.S. President Obama will be spending Memorial Day at Arlington Cemetery. 

(Image: Boise Weekly)