Monday, May 30, 2011

The Definition of Memorial Day… at least for me

By Dustin McIntyre

I am ashamed to admit that when I was younger I used to always confuse the definition of Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The definition for Memorial Day for me is quite clear today. They say you really can not understand something unless you have experienced something first hand yourself, and they might be right.

Daniel (US Navy) died at the age of 29 years old. Being a Colorado native he was laid to rest at Crown Hill cemetery with full military honors facing his beloved Colorado Rocky Mountains. Attending his service this last December left me with no doubt of what Memorial Day should be about, the ultimate sacrifice of service, and giving one’s life.

Maybe it was when they loaded Daniel’s body into the pristine black government issue Cadillac Hearse for the short journey to his final resting place…

Or maybe it was the unforgettable crack of the first rounds of the 21 gun salute, feeling sick to my stomach knowing that two more rounds of seven were going to follow…

Maybe it was the reaction to that same 21 gun salute of Daniel’s mom Karen and Daniel’s sister Tiffany, who stayed strong as best they could until they heard the crack of reality…

But, what really defined Memorial Day, at least for me… was the look of sadness and confusion of Daniel’s 6 year old daughter Alexis as a Navy commander presented her a triangular folded US flag and thanked her for the service her Dad gave to the United States.

So today, with respect and reverence and not celebration, I will not have a barbeque or go to a sale. I will remember the time I had with Daniel when he was younger and say Thank You for your service.


  1. Excellent, very well said.

  2. dusty, thank you so much for writing this

  3. Got to LOVE America, we can make a celebration out of anything!

    Meaning of Memorial Day has been lost and we need as a nation restore it.

  4. Lionel, Commerce CityTuesday, May 31, 2011

    Thanks to all the men and women who gave their lives for our great country.

  5. Awesome statement Dustin.
    So very true.
    So much taken for given, so much forgotten.
    Thank you