This weekend, all across the US, people are getting ready for the long weekend.

The schools are out (or almost), teachers & students everywhere jump for joy!  And the lazy days of summer are upon us. Many baseball games will be well attended over the weekend & our beloved SEC has 8 teams in the softball Super Regionals – War Eagle! Many families are packing up cars, hopping on planes, and boarding cruise ships to visiting family, friends, exotic locals. Maybe you are heading to the pool, going to the lake, having a mini stay-cation or getting away from it all. For sure the grocery stores are busy, the parks are packed, in Atlanta traffic still stinks, and many BBQ grills are bing fired up all around town!

While preparing for the weekend I went to the grocery store I saw the familiar memorial day weekend people – veterans collecting money in exchange for the paper poppy flowers – you know the ones. The paper poppies with the little white tag, that are attached to florist wire.

Following the trench warfare which took place in the poppy fields of Flanders during World War I, poppies have become a symbol of remembrance of soldiers who have died during wartime


Well, I made my obligatory donation and said my usual “thank you for your service.”and when I returned home I was struck by my rote actions and these two words:

Obligatory (adjective): so customary or routine as to be expected of everyone or on every occasion.

Usual (adjective): habitually or typically occurring or done; customary.

And really, neither my words or my actions set right with me! Why do I do the same things over and over again? Why? – because it’s comfortable. Well not so this weekend – I am reminded that I am afforded the ability to enjoy this weekend with my family because of those men and women who died while serving in the US military. The same men and women that we remember this weekend and especially on Monday! No, not one of these men or women had the luxury of being comfortable, nor did they return home to their families and friends.

I’ll just leave that for us all to think about for a few minutes…

Yes, my weekend will indeed be enjoyable, I will spend time with family & I am sure we will fire up the BBQ, however, I will be doing something this weekend. Something that is for me not obligatory, nor usual, for the memorial day weekend. I will spend time this weekend – not just a passing thought, or lip service – I will really spend time remembering and praying for those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, for their families & friends.

I invite you – no I challenge you – to do the same!

Be safe this weekend, enjoy those that you spend time with, and take time to remember those who died while serving this great nation!