For many years, I didn't. It was the day the pool opened, then a day off work with pay, then a day to unwind...
Now, however, I've become more concious of what the costs are to this country. I've experienced "losses" through my soldier, and though I've not met the men and women who've lost their lives, I've mourned their passing. I've experienced the "cost" first hand, and I am proud of those who serve, proud of what has been given for this great country.
Today is a time of relaxation for me, but it's also a day that bonds me more with the people I care for who are still serving and will continue to serve. For my friends who have sons and daughters in the military and service oriented professions. There's so much more to Memorial Day than what I previously gave it credit for.
And when I receive the flag that has flown over Iraq in a few weeks, and I put it in my pretty little case, and I look at it hanging on the wall, I'm not just going to smile at the bond I share with my soldier, but I'm going to smile for all those who devoted themselves to the purpose of freedom.
The flag is powerful. Those who've fought for it are heroes. And may all of you who gave your lives know we honor what you've done.
For everyone else -- enjoy your holiday! If nothing else, celebrate the bonds of family and friends and appreciate the simple time to spend with them.