Memorial Day: A Whole New Meaning

CJ Westerberg, May 20, 2013 3:59 PM


"And reflect on the families left behind.
For us, every day is Memorial Day."

From TIME, with the same title as above. Written by Leslie McCaddon:
Once upon a time, I lived a life where Memorial Day weekend marked the beginning
of summer, with backyard barbecues and three days off from work and school.

I was always touched by the parade and cemetery services in that small town.

But I'll admit the holiday fun only actually began after that "depressing part" was over.

I remembered what Memorial Day was all about, but I didn't know.

This year I know.


As we pulled up to the hotel my children cheered.

"We're here!" they exulted.

Their mother fought back tears at the paradox of my children's happiness to return to a place where everyone was gathering to come to grips with grief.

On March 21, 2012, my husband, Captain Michael R. McCaddon, lost his life due to complications arising from his service in the U.S. Army.

He had untreated (and largely unrecognized by his leaders and peers) depression. The lack of available time and access to care, as well as a stigma in the military regarding mental illness, were (in my opinion) definite contributing factors to his suicide.

But, were he still here, he'd be the first to defend the way things are handled in the military. . . .

Memorial Day now has a whole new meaning for me and my three children. (snip)

Even if you have never lost a loved one to war or in service to our country, I humbly ask that you remember, too.

Have that barbecue, but raise a glass in silence to remember the brave and selfless. Recall that the reason for this holiday is to thank those who have already paid the ultimate price, so that we can enjoy such holidays and the carefree summers they herald.

And reflect on the families left behind. For us, every day is Memorial Day.
read full article HERE.

Leslie McCaddon of Massachusetts was "one of two widows Time featured in its July 2012 cover story on the surge in Army suicides".

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