Updated: May 26
The word is MEMORIALIZE
Definition: Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “something that serves to keep alive the memory of a person or event”
Memorial Day is almost here. “Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.”
- History Channel
My Story on Memorialize:
As we approach Memorial Day weekend, I thought it fitting to remember both the brave heroes who served our country and the brave heroes we were fortunate enough to have had in our own lives. We miss them and carry parts of them with us always. They’re the ones we looked up to, learned from, and aspired to be. They’re not the celebrities we see in the media they are the people who held a special place in their hearts for us.
I had a few heroes in my life that I will memorialize this weekend.
The first was my dad. He was someone I saw as a hero because he devoted his professional life to saving the lives of others. By example, he allowed me to embrace the survivor and protector in me.
The second was my paternal grandmother. She introduced me to the world of literature and the world of fashion. She was an independent woman ahead of her time who instilled in me a sense of self; read so you can learn about the world and dress the part to live it boldly.
And the third was my maternal grandmother. She was the trailblazer in the family, the hugger, and the woman who made sure everyone had full bellies. She was a woman ahead of her time as well, an immigrant from Turkey who came to America by means of an arranged marriage. With a smile on my face, I proudly say that my grandmother was one of the few women drivers in all of Brooklyn back in the nineteen-twenties. Her Middle Eastern recipes have passed from one generation to the next. Sharing her love, she treated each of her sixteen grandchildren as if they were the best of the best. It wasn’t a competition, just a fact in her estimation. I credit her for teaching me fearlessness, love, and how to cook a delicious boreka (you might have to look that one up, but it was a staple at every family gathering).
This Memorial Day weekend, I invite you to reflect on the hero in your life. Or the many if you were so blessed. Remember the person you learned from and aspired to. Embrace a few minutes of reflection as you memorialize them this weekend and if you’re so inclined, hold your own little parade to celebrate their memory.