It's not about you.
It's not about barbecue or days off of work or sales in the linen aisle.
Every year Memorial Day seems to stir up some confusion.
For families who have never served or been touched by the hell of war, the three-day weekend is a time to picnic, celebrate and vacation.
For some young service members, they seem to think the weekend is in honor of their service.
The retail industry sees it as a weekend for huge discounts and large sales.
It is none of these.
It is the most somber of American holidays.
This weekend is when we as a nation have chosen to stop what we are doing and pay homage to the our soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who have fallen in battle. It is our time to thank these men and women for our freedom.
They died so that we may live.
And in honor of that, modern Americans have skipped heading to the cemeteries with flowers and thanks in hand and instead hit the beaches, shopping malls and liquor stores.
I get it. A three-day weekend is a big deal. After a winter with record snows people are at their breaking point and ready for a long weekend of sun and fun.
But please, if nothing else, before you dig into that grilled smorgasbord, call for a moment of silence and ask your party-goers to take a moment and say thank you to the men and women in uniform who gave their lives on the field of battle so that you could gather and party today.
Or, suggest to your crowd that before you feast, you gather at the cemetery across town and make a small gesture of thanks. Thousands of veterans' graves go unmarked, unrecognized every year. They are easy to find and even easier to stop at, and simply place a small flag.
I will be at our local veterans' cemetery bright and early with my five children in tow. We will be placing flags on the graves of men and women who fell in the Revolution and every war after. My children will salute each one.
And I will remind them of one of my favorite quotes, spoken by General George Patton, "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."