I grew up in Independence, Ohio, a suburb about 10-miles directly south of Cleveland. It was, and still is, a small town, with a small town feel. As a child of the 70’s, I would be free to ride my bike all over town. To the pool, or to the pond to fish, or to the local convenient store for candy or a drink or ice cream. It truly was a different time back then. A time of innocence. Anyway, I digress…
Today I live one town over from the town I grew up in. So it’s the same small town feel, just a different address. But the same feeling. It’s that small town feel that always gets me because I remember back to when I was a kid and how awesome it was to feel summer coming, and to go to the local parade and get $.25 hot dogs and get candy thrown down from the people in the floats in the parade.
And to just feel… free. A feeling you can only really experience.
Memorial Day weekend to me reminds me how amazingly lucky I am to have been born in the United States. To have the freedom to start my own business and see it grow or fail, and raise my children they way I want to and have opportunity that I couldn’t get in other parts of the world. And a million other things.
I never did serve in the military. My father did (not during wartime). He told me when I was a kid that I shouldn’t join the Army because I didn’t like to take orders. He was right, I don’t, which is why I am an entrepreneur and run my own businesses. But I sometimes wish I would have had that experience of serving my country and feeling that pride that must come with it.
I’m not super patriotic guy. I mean, I do love my country, but I’ve got some issues with it as well. But I will admit I still get teared up every single time I hear the Star Spangled Banner before a sporting event. Every single time. Because it’s another reminder of how amazing my life is because I get to live in this country.
But just because I haven’t served in the military, does not mean that I don’t value what the people who have have done so that I can run my barbeque this weekend. So thank you to all who served and continue to serve.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that Memorial Day weekend is a reminder to me about how freaking good I’ve got it. How freaking good we all have it here in the USA. Sure, we have our problems, and we’re not perfect, but overall, we are still the best and I for one am supremely grateful for what I have.
I will wander through the events I have planned with my family this weekend with these thoughts in the back of mind as a reminder of it all. And I will continue to thank God that I have what I have and the opportunities that I have.
Here’s to you and your family this holiday weekend. Please be safe and have a wonderful time.