Martin Sumichrast | Memorial Day Tribute

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Memorial Day weekend always signalled the start of summer when I was a young boy. Unlike today, when school seems to go a few weeks past Memorial Day, our last day was always the Friday before. I still remember those Fridays before the long weekend. My parents owned a small condo in Bethany Beach, Delaware (it was 209S, Dover House in Sea Colony for those of you familiar with the place). We would all take turns loading up our car, voices of my brothers gathering last minute things, and hearing my parents hustling us along to leave for our summer road trip to our condo rests fondly in my memories as I do the same WITH my family today.

No matter how many times we travelled the same stretch of highway, it couldn’t get us there fast enough. It was a small, quaint one bedroom condo. My two bothers and I slept in the bunk beds with the roll-a-way, which made three. I got the top bunk; I guess that was due to the fact that I was the youngest. My parents used the two couches in the living room, which turned into beds. It was a much simpler time and those memories will always rest in the forefront of my thoughts every time this particular long weekend nears.

Now-a-days, we like to head to Kiawah Island and stay at the Sanctuary Resort. We used to own a small house in Mount Pleasant, just outside of Charleston, SC, but we outgrew it with four kids. Plus, we like to travel and having a second home makes travel seem “guilty”…”why are you going there, when you could just go to your beach house?” We love the beach and it’s keeping the Sumichrast tradition in starting the summer season.

Raising four kids is a second job (for me), a number 1 priority for my wife. Our family is a constant schedule of home management, morning rushes to get to school, endless shuffles to various sporting events in the afternoon, until the wind down of dinner and homework as evening settles our day. Although, our kids are so active in sports, the June calendar of sports camps look like an NFL combine. But it’s awesome, rewarding and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. These are now the family memories we are building with our children.  We are very, very proud of our kids.

Just as my short story tells, for many of us Memorial Day means quality family time, the beach, a few days off from the pressures of reality, crackling campfires, relaxation, beautiful sunsets, the occasional smell of barbeques carried by the warm ocean breeze; the overlapping laughter’s of children playing on the sandy shores, the unequivocal air of summer. But let’s not forget why we have Memorial Day. Let’s take a moment during this holiday long weekend, even just for a second of thoughtful reflection, why for many reasons as history has witnessed, we are able to do these activities, be able to enjoy our families and our American way of living.

Our family is thankful to those that have fought, served and gave their lives for our country in all conflicts then and today. It is largely because of those selfless and courageous individuals that the preservation of our liberties and more importantly freedom as a people and great nation, stands as a pillar of strength that so many around the world admire or envy. Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day long weekend everyone – The Sumichrast Family.

 Reference from WikiPedia:

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May.[1] Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.[2] Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union andConfederate soldiers who died in the Civil War.

By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service[3]. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

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